Cross community Centenary Church service strengthens reconciliation – Beattie

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Cross community Centenary Church service strengthens reconciliation – Beattie

Following his attendance at a cross community Church service held to mark the formation of Northern Ireland, Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“I was delighted to be able to attend the cross-community Church service in Armagh to mark the Centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland. It showed that people can reach out the hand of friendship and take genuine steps towards strengthening reconciliation in Northern Ireland without diminishing their own identity. It was done in a very respectful manner and I thank the Church leaders for organising it.


“In contrast, the decision by Sinn Fein to block the illumination of Parliament Buildings to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland and then their move to call-in the lighting up of Belfast City Hall is incredibly small-minded and mean. Added to their refusal to allow a small memorial stone or a single centenary rose in the grounds of the Stormont estate, these cynical moves are deliberately insensitive and disrespectful.


“However it is very helpful in exposing Sinn Fein`s claims about wanting to create ‘an Ireland of equals’ as being nothing more than a mirage. They seem incapable of even showing a modicum of respect to the pro-Union population of Northern Ireland. If this is the way that people of a pro-Union view are treated by Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland today, you can only imagine what would face them in a United Ireland.


“What I do hope is that it motivates people right across Northern Ireland to look for a better form of representative politics that leaves behind the narrow mindedness demonstrated by Sinn Fein and builds a consensus of the willing in which respect is a two-way street.”