23 September 2005

‘Irish government is committed to securing peace and stability in north’

The Irish News Online

By Barry McCaffrey

Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern met with nationalists in Belfast and Antrim yesterday to assure them that the Irish government is committed to tackling sectarianism.

Mr Ahern visited a number of community groups in Belfast and Antrim who were most directly affected by sectarian attacks and street violence.

During his visit, he met with residents on the Springfield Road in west Belfast and the Parkside estate in north Belfast.

He also met some of the families affected by sectarian attacks in north Antrim.

“This was an important opportunity to hear directly from the communities and individuals who have been directly affected by recent events,” he said.

“It is vital for those of us involved in the ongoing political process to hear at first hand the concerns and experiences of the people and communities who suffer fear and intimidation.

“The government is determined to be proactive in challenging sectarianism at every opportunity.

“Today was an important occasion for me to speak to the people working hard at the coal face, to see how best we can achieve this.

“I assured all those I met of the government's commitment to work for the peaceful and stable future that the people of Northern Ireland deserve.”

Later, Mr Ahern visited the Corrymeela Reconciliation Centre where he paid tribute to its ongoing work in combating sectarianism.

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