Uncomfortable conversations are key to reconciliation

2 March 2012

MANY YEARS AGO, unionists told republicans that our words could not be heard over the sound of guns and bombs. That was in a period when republicans sought contact and dialogue with unionist and Protestant people against the backdrop of the IRA’s ongoing armed struggle. Free article

‘Unionists have nothing to fear’

2 April 2012

DECLAN KEARNEY’S ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ article in the March issue of An Phoblacht (about post-conflict initiatives and reaching out to unionists) made headlines in the mainstream media. Most importantly, though, its sincere intent was appreciated by many people, unionists and non-unionists alike. Free article

Protestant churches urge unionists to respond ‘positively and constructively’

2 July 2012

THE Presbyterian and Methodist churches have given positive, if understandably cautious, welcomes to the renewed Sinn Féin dialogue with the unionist community by passing formal motions endorsing ongoing talks. Free article

Mutual respect – Clearing the way

2 July 2012

I AM PROUD to live in a nation known throughout the world as ‘a land of welcomes’. This meeting, from our point of view, is a meeting of equals. The British queen remains British and the queen the morning after this historic handshake, just as Martin remains an Irish republican committed to ending the Crown’s involvement – or, more accurately, the British Government’s involvement – in Ireland. Free article

Irish republicans will be judged by our actions as well as our beliefs

2 July 2012

GERRY ADAMS spoke at the West Belfast Sinn Féin Convention in the Felons’ Club that selected ex-prisoner Rosie McCorley as a replacement MLA for Paul Maskey MP on 24 June. Coming just three days before the meeting of joint First Ministers Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson and President of Ireland Michael D Higgins with the English monarch at a Co-Operation Ireland initiative in Belfast, Gerry Adams said: “This is a different visit [to Dublin last year] - in a different context.” The Sinn Féin leader said: Free article

Leadership and vision remain essential

29 July 2012

CONFLICT RESOLUTION and peace building never conform to zero-sum terms or outcomes. Our own experience shows it’s much more complex than that. Free article

The past, reconciliation and the future of the Peace Process

3 February 2013

A SIMPLISTIC ASSESSMENT of events across the North, and Belfast especially, since the beginning of last December would be to assume nothing has changed. A ‘Groundhog Day’ scenario. That is not the case. Free article

Equality, parity of esteem and developing a reconciliation process

31 March 2013

DR HEATHER MORRIS, in line to take up the post of the first female President of the Methodist Church in Ireland in June after being elected in June of last year, was an invited speaker to the Sinn Féin National Youth Congress held in Belfast on 1/2 March. The Methodist Church operates across the island of Ireland and the Methodist community in Ireland numbers about 53,000. The Director of Ministry at the Edgehill Theological College in Belfast told her audience of young republicans that “taking parity of esteem seriously rather than just nodding in its direction, doing the hard work of developing a reconciliation process, is going to take effort and it is going to cost”. This is what the President-designate of the Methodist Church in Ireland said to the Sinn Féin National Youth Congress. Free article

Persuaders for a New Ireland

31 March 2013

IF REPUBLICANS are to be persuaders for a New Ireland, a land of equals, we need to “respond appropriately to the fears and uncertainties of those who see us through different eyes than we see ourselves”, Martin McGuinness says. Free article

‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ have begun

2 June 2013

THE Progressive Unionist Party’s new document Transforming the Legacy (released on 22 April) is the first constructive response from unionism on the question of reconciliation. It is a response to Sinn Féin’s request for others to engage with the tortuous problems of how to deal with the past. Although constructed as a call to the loyalist base, it significantly touches one fundamental aspect of the reconciliation debate and any subsequent process: INCLUSIVITY. Free article

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