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Kearney commends Orange initiative on 1916 Rising

14 October, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA and Seán Lynch MLA have attended the 'Understanding 1916 - Easter Rising' discussion in Enniskillen, jointly organised by the Fermanagh Orange Order, Church of Ireland, and local Presbyterians and Methodists.

Speaking after the event last night Declan Kearney said:

"I congratulate the Orange Order and the Protestant section of our community in Fermanagh for organising this discussion on the Easter Rising.

"I fully agree with the comments of the Grand Master Stuart Booker when he emphasised that such initiatives should not be about agreeing or disagreeing on our history but rather developing greater understanding through listening and speaking.

"I said in my own contribution from the floor that it is quite valid for us as a society to agree to disagree but that willingness to engage with each other on the basis of equality must be paramount.

"Engagement about our differences increases mutual understanding and that builds mutual respect.

"This is what our wider community needs.

"Willingness to engage was key to the accommodation on the North Belfast parade impasse.

"The efforts of the Orange, local residents, mediators and Sinn Féin in Ardoyne may now open the potential to resolving the small number of remaining parading disputes.

"That is a goal we should all aspire towards for the greater good of the peace process.

"Direct engagement, appreciation for each other, increased understanding and mutual respect are the basis upon which to discuss our historic and current cultural and political differences and societal divisions.

"This represents the way forward to building an inclusive, equal, agreed and shared future. I hope we can look forward to similar initiatives as that taken by the Orange and Protestant Churches in Fermanagh being organised elsewhere."

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