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Sinn Féin TDs welcome cross-community delegation to Leinster House

14 October, 2011 - by Martin Ferris TD, Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin TD’s Seán Crowe and Martin Ferris, both of whom sit on the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, have welcomed a presentation by Northern based community activists.

The presentation took place on Thursday and was entitled: “The Peace Process and the next Ten Years.” It included contributions from a panel led by Ian Adamson, High Sheriff of Belfast, and including Republican and Loyalist activists Sean Murray, Jackie McDonald and George Newell.

Speaking after the meeting on Thursday, Deputy Crowe said: “Today’s discussion was a further step on the road to building greater understanding between the two communities in the North. It is part of a process of dialogue that Sinn Féin has been engaging in and a number of important issues were discussed including future events that will be organised to mark a number of historic anniversaries over the coming decade.

“One aspect of today’s discussion was how we can build a greater understanding about where our society finds itself after years of relative peace and, even more importantly, what the future holds. It was an opportunity for the Committee to hear diverse views and perspectives from people who have very different political outlooks.”

Deputy Martin Ferris agreed that the meeting had been very productive and he believes it is important that representatives from all political parties work towards identifying opportunities that can help consolidate the peace process. He continued: “We cannot take for granted the progress that has been made to date and we need to build understanding and tolerance as our society moves out of conflict.

“Today’s presentation focused on the present state of the peace process and the key challenges that lie ahead including issues around sectarianism, legacy/truth and the socio/economic situation. It also offered an examination of how we can best approach the oncoming decade of historic anniversaries and can we, for example, turn potential negatives into a way of promoting reconciliation, not only at a 6-county basis but on a truly national level.

“This means developing a shared understanding and each of us playing a role in generating greater understanding.” ENDS

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