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Loyalist bands forum move a sign of new community relationships - Ó hEára

3 March, 2015

Sinn Féin's Gearóid Ó hEára has said the decision by a loyalist bands forum to attend this weekend's Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Derry is a sign of maturing community relationships in the city. 

Mr Ó hEára said; 

"Over recent years I have been involved in ongoing dialogue with loyalist bands from the Londonderry Bands Forum. 

"Those discussions resulted in the historic scenes in 2013 when a loyalist band took part in Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in the city alongside musicians from across Ireland, uniting the traditions in our city. 

"That positive engagement has continued and developed since then as the relationship between our communities has grown. 

"In order to further promote reconciliation and understanding, Sinn Féin issued an invite to the Londonderry Bands Forum for its members to come along to our Ard Fheis in Derry this weekend. 

"We are delighted the invitation has been accepted and that members of the bands forum will be there, engaging with republicans from right across Ireland, explaining what they do and what they are about. 

"This is one of a number of ongoing initiatives to promote reconciliation in the city and is further evidence of the growing political and cultural maturity in the city."

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