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Agreement can be a catalyst for reconciliation – Kearney

20 February, 2015

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has said there is a need for new political and community relationships in order to achieve genuine reconciliation. 

Speaking at a reconciliation event in the Skainos Centre in east Belfast, Mr Kearney said; 

"The Stormont House Agreement has created a new political context for all of us. 

"It has opened up the opportunity for a new phase of the peace process to be developed based on reconciliation. 

"There is a need for new political and human relationships based on trust and respect. We may never agree on the past but that must not be allowed to hold back the future. 

"A public discourse on reconciliation, free from recrimination, and based on mutual respect, driven from within the democratic process and civic society is needed. 

"An initiative of common acknowledgement from all sides for the pain caused by, and against each other, could make a powerful contribution to forgiveness and healing. 

"The Stormont House Agreement can be a catalyst for reconciliation by establishing the frameworks to assist in dealing with the past and facilitating discussion on the issues that divide our society. 

“Moulds need to be broken.  Example needs to be shown; and initiatives need to be taken… by everyone, jointly and together.  Genuine unity of purpose is more important than ever.

“Neither of the two governments are bystanders in all of this.  Each is a co-equal guarantor for this Agreement and its implementation.

"That will depend on the full commitment of all parties and governments to do so. However all sections of civic society have an important role to ensure this potential is harnessed and built upon. 

"In order to do so, political, civic, community and church leaders need to work jointly on a strategy which ensures the process of reconciliation is embedded in society.”

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