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Newry Councillor to speak at London reconciliation conference

21 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Sinn Féin Councillor Pat McGinn will be speak at a Conference entitled 'Understanding Reconciliation' at the St Ethelburgas Reconciliation centre in London this Saturday, 23rd June.

The centre was a former14th century medieval church in the City of London, which was almost completely destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993. Restored in 2002, St. Ethelburga's now exists as a centre of reconciliation and peace.

Councillor McGinn officially visited the Centre whilst Mayor of Newry and Mourne.

Commenting on his participation in the event the Sinn Féin Councillor said that he recognised the significance of his speaking at the Conference and that he was confident that most people would interpret it as another visible and very honest attempt at peace building and reconciliation in a very practical yet sensitive way.

Cllr McGinn said:

"Sinn Féin has clearly indicated the importance of discussing and debating the issue of how society should deal with the legacy of conflict, the lessons of the past, the needs of victims and the exploration of how to build support for the process of conflict transformation.

"The issue of truth, of victims and the need for a healing process are crucial matters, which need to be resolved in the time ahead.

"Inevitably there are many different views about how we should approach truth and victims. Sinn Féin are absolutely committed to seeing a process developed which can deliver closure for the families of those killed during the conflict. This process must be victim centred and must deal comprehensively with the issue.

"Our Council and many others from many different persuasions and backgrounds have worked hard and mostly privately, to help nurture the challenge of change that conditions and circumstances have created." ENDS

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