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Focus on reconciliation and healing needs to be intensified

17 September, 2015

Sinn Féin's National Chairperson Declan Kearney today spoke of the need for a 'coalition for reconciliation' across society despite the current political crisis.

 Kearney was speaking alongside the British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD and the Rev Dr Heather Morris, former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, at an event held by Sinn Féin in Dublin.

 Declan Kearney said:

 "While the Good Friday Agreement drew a line under political conflict in Ireland, we have not dealt with the legacy of our most recent past.

 “Events such as the bombings of Dublin and Monaghan, at Mullaghmore, on the Shankill Road, and in Warrington; the killings on Bloody Sunday, at Loughgall, Loughinisland, and many more, all caused huge suffering and pain.

 “Unless we make reconciliation, healing and forgiveness our future, society and politics will remain trapped by the pain and resentments of the past.

 “Embracing the challenge of reconciliation and healing will require courage; and a willingness to open our hearts and minds to the need for respect, generosity, forgiveness and trust.

 “That is why Sinn Féin has called for an initiative of common acknowledgement by all sides for the hurt caused against all sides.

 “Our party is ideologically and philosophically committed to reconciliation and healing. We have called for a broadly based Coalition of Reconciliation to help bring that about.

 “At this time the north faces a political crisis, which threatens the Good Friday Agreement; the very basis of Irish national democracy; and by extension the Peace Process itself.

 “This has the real potential to set back the prospects for reconciliation and healing between our people, and these islands.

 “We must not let that happen.

 “Reconciliation and healing should be placed above the challenges of the political process.

 “Increased political adversity and polarisation, both north and south should strengthen our resolve to protect that vision.

 “Instead our focus upon reconciliation and healing needs to be intensified. Reconciliation should be advanced and supported by all sides." ENDS/CRÍOCH

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