McDonald to visit the Somme
Sinn Féin TD and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald will accompany the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Declan Kearney, Sinn Féin MLA and party chairperson, as part of a Sinn Féin delegation visiting Flanders at the invitation of the Flemish government. They will also visit the Somme Battlefield.
Deputy McDonald said:
“The battles of the First World War and the battle of the Somme in particular hold a special significance for the unionist community.
“Tens of thousands from the unionist community fought in these battles, as did tens of thousands from the nationalist community.
“Great numbers from both traditions lost their lives in this imperialist war.
“We are sensitive to and recognise the importance the commemorations of the Battle of the Somme have for unionism.
“Such commemorations represent a part of the complexity of our shared histories.
“We are undertaking this visit as part of a process of building understanding and reconciliation amongst all of our people on this island and in a spirit of reconciliation between the differing traditions in the North.”