Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Donaldson hears of healing victims and helping children in Washington DC

Deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness and Junior Minister Jeffrey Donaldson speaking with David Scott from 3 Powerinc at the White House in Washington DC . Mr Scott is taking part in the Northern Ireland Investment Conference in Belfast in May. Photo Christy Bowe /NI Bureau.

JUSTICE and healing for all victims was among the issues discussed by Jeffrey Donaldson on his final day in Washington this week.

The Junior Minister met with the Director of the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) John Gillis, to learn of the Offices' mission in assisting crime victims.

Mr Donaldson met Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus, an organisation committed to making children and their families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions, and Charles Hiteshew, Chief Operating Officer of America's Promise Alliance, which seeks to ensure that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed.

Mr Donaldson who also took part in the St Patrick's Day celebrations at the White House along with deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness on Monday described his visit to Washington as "extremely worthwhile".


"This trip to Washington has been invaluable. It has been an excellent opportunity to meet with organisations which are making such a positive difference to people's lives and to learn how they are tackling certain issues," he said.

"It has been good to have had an opportunity to share our experience of how we provide support for victims and to learn from the US administration on the support they provide.

"As one of my chief responsibilities is to improve outcomes for children and young people, I found it particularly interesting to hear of the efforts being made in the US in making the lives of children and young people a priority and I look forward to sharing these messages with colleagues back home."

The OVC is a Federal Agency within the US Department of Justice and provides funds to support victim compensation. Jeffrey Donaldson also met with Paul Dyck, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe in the Department of Commerce.

Ulster Star