24 January 2013
Video: Short Strand residents meet Oireachtas Good Friday committee
Gerry Adams TD repeated his call for ‘an all-party, cross-community response to the flag protests and the violence that has accompanied them’.
A DELEGATION of residents of the Short Strand area of east Belfast, which has been the target of loyalist attacks for the last seven weeks during protests about the Union flag, were at Leinster House in Dublin on Thursday to address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
They were welcomed by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD.
Sinn Féin councillor for the area Niall Ó Donnghaile said the meeting provided community representatives with an opportunity to address the committee and to meet other Oireachtas members to tell them about the reality of life for the residents of the Short Strand “living under siege”.
Gerry Adams TD repeated his call for “an all-party, cross-community response to the flag protests and the violence that has accompanied them”.
“After the Massereene attack in 2009, in which two British soldiers were killed, and also when two members of the PSNI were killed, Martin McGuinness stood shoulder to shoulder with First Minister Peter Robinson and brought together all political, church and civic leaders to seek a way forward.
“This was to ensure that the tiny minority of voices who want to undermine progress already made, do not succeed.
“That approach is needed again,” he said.
Also in the delegation were Bernie McConnell (Short Strand Community Forum), Hugh McComb (Committee for Restorative Justice Ireland and interface resident) and Mairead O'Donnell (Short Strand Partnership Board).
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An initiative for dialogue
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures