Sinn Féin’s Commission on the Future of Ireland and Derry Sinn Féin have today published ‘Celebrating Diversity – Ending Division’ – a report on the Derry Peoples Assembly that was held in the Derry City Hotel on 6th December.
The event was chaired by Joe Martin, former teacher and school principle who is also Chair of Colmcille Press.
The panellists who participated in the public meeting included: former Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin who is Project Manager of the Bloody Sunday Trust and a community activist; former minister of First Derry Presbyterian Church David Latimer; writer and former editor of The Impartial Reporter Denzel McDaniel, and Catherine Pollock an Irish language activist and rights campaigner. There were also contributions from the floor of the meeting.
Sinn Féin MLA Ciara Ferguson said:
“The Celebrating Diversity – Ending Division conference was a very successful event and an important contribution to the ongoing debate on ending division, inclusivity, and the role of a Citizens’ Assembly in the planning needed to map out the new Ireland.
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement the Derry discussion centred around the key themes of the Agreement which set as its objective a rights based, non-sectarian future based on “reconciliation, tolerance, and mutual trust and to the protection and vindication of the human rights of all.”
The Derry themes were around:
· Safeguarding rights and protecting Protestant Unionist Loyalist traditions in a new Ireland
· The changing political attitudes and perspectives on a new Ireland
· Celebrating diversity and ending divisions
· The role of a Citizen’s Assembly in the debate on a new Ireland
Sectarianism and sectarian segregation remain as significant barriers to a better future. Sectarianism will not be wished away. Nor can it be ignored. The starting point must be positive leadership from political, cultural, religious and civic society.
The conversation in the City Hotel was positive and gives hope for the future. There is growing interest in and support for Irish Unity. But reunification needs to be planned for. That means those of us who want Irish Unity planning for its achievement. We must also address the concerns of those who have not yet made up their minds, and are unsure how they would vote in a unity referendum.”
Note to Editor:
The Commission on the Future of Ireland seeks to facilitate a structured conversation on the future of our island. The New Ireland is for Everyone – Have Your Say, are the main pillars of the Commission.
The next People’s Assembly will be held in the Carrickdale Hotel on 30 March and will cover the Louth, Armagh and Down border region.
The Commission is also seeking written contributions from across Ireland and beyond.
So, why not write to us. Share your ideas, suggestions on the new Ireland.
Just go to the Sinn Féin website where you will find the page dedicated to the Commission www.sinnfein.ie
Or go directly to www.sinnfein.ie/futureofireland
All of the details are there.
A video of the Derry event is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KYm5iMyyUKY