17 May 2007 Edition

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McLaughlin acknowledges political differences

Mitchel McLaughlin

Mitchel McLaughlin

Speaking to a motion, tabled by Ulster Unionists at Stormont on Monday, urging that the Six County Assemby rejoin the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Sinn Féin MLA for South Antrim Mitchel McLaughlin said:
“Sinn Féin Members will listen with great interest to this debate. The party recognises that the work of this body is of particular significance to many Members. Sinn Féin acknowledges that this legitimate motion should have been tabled.
“Inevitably, our history will mean that, from time to time, we will deal with matters that do not sit comfortably with all Members. However, we are living in a time of change and, in the context of current politics and, in particular, in the light of last week’s remarkable developments, it behoves us all to recognise the fact that our community is shared.
“There is a diversity, which is quite legitimate and has significant and sizeable support in the community. If Members are to make politics work, they must strike a balance between all those clashing and competing issues. If we acknowledge that diversity is legitimate, it is within the combined creative talent and genius in the Chamber to chart our way through the issue.
“Sinn Féin will not vote against the motion. As Members will understand, although the issue is not a matter of primary interest to Sinn Féin, it will not set up any obstacles or cause difficulties for Members who feel that the motion reflects their cultural, political and social affinities.”

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