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Martin McGuinness speech to Magill launch in Dublin

8 November, 2005

Speaking at the launch of this years publication from the Magill Summer School, 'Managing Ireland's Future 2005 - 2030' at the Merrion Hotel, Dublin this evening, Martin McGuinness said,

"The Magill Summer is unique in its ability to draw together in a small rural village in the hills of Donegal the most important and influential political, social and economic thinkers in Ireland. Just as importantly it is open to the public giving the discussions an immediate and at times compelling relevance.

"This book, recording the contributions at this year's summer school, covers a wide range of issues and identifies some of the very real difficulties that we, as a people, must face in the period ahead. It is essential that we ensure that the growing wealth of the nation is shared among all of the people, that it is used to tackle disadvantage and to provide support for the less able in our society.

"Over the last 25 years we have witnessed unimaginable change here in Ireland and globally. The next 25 years will probably see that process of change accelerate. I have no doubt that the Ireland of 2030 will be a much better place for all of its people, just as the Ireland of today is a much better place than the Ireland of 1981. In that year the uneven struggle between naked political prisoners and the British state was convulsing the body politic of Ireland, north and south. Who could have imagined the enormous progress that we have seen towards a peaceful Ireland and I am confidant that that progress will continue in the time ahead. I welcome the presence of the representatives of unionism in Glenties. Their presence is a clear acknowledgment that the isolation of north from south that partition caused is nonsense and that the future lies in engagement, dialogue and agreement.

"The DUP in particular have moved a long way from the politics of no surrender and not an inch. They regularly meet with the Taoiseach, and I welcome that. They accept the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement and I welcome that also. But the process of bringing the peace process to a successful conclusion will be accelerated enormously if they act on the logic of this position and move quickly to re-establish the political institutions.

"As the violent events of this summer have shown, the unionist community needs confident and positive leadership. They need politicians who can deliver for them. There is no way to do this other than through the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. That is the challenge that the DUP faces, I hope that their response is positive and forward-looking.

"The future holds challenges and demands for all of us. We do have many problems to face in the time ahead. Most of them are identified and addressed in this book but I firmly believe that we can face into the resolution of these issues in a spirit of confidence and optimism. I know that the Magill Summer School will continue to make an important contribute to this process of progressive change." ENDS

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