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Sinn Féin delegation to travel to Messines memorial

23 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has confirmed that, along with South Down MLA Willie Clarke, she is expected to travel to the Messines memorial in Belgium next month as part of a cross-community peace initiative.

Martina Anderson and Willie Clarke will take part in a series of events marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Messines.

Ms Anderson said:

"This is an important visit for Sinn Féin and the development of our unionist outreach.

"As a republican I would have a particular view of the events at Messines. People fought for many different reasons - and from the nationalist community too for home rule and others to put bread on the table. But others believed it was the right thing to do.

"However, Messines is clearly an important event for others in the community.

"The development of our Unionist engagement is about trying to build up a better understanding of people from the different parts of our community and their experiences. It is a two-way street and a slow process but there is significant engagement between ourselves and people right throughout the Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist (PUL) community." ENDS

Note to Editors

Sinn Fein will launch its' Charter for Unionist Engagement next Tuesday, May 29th, at 1pm in the Long Gallery at Stormont. The main speaker will be Martin McGuinness MP MLA.

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