Irish Primate: 'We want the talks to work'

24 October 2014


Talking: the Irish Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, speaks to the media on his way to Stormont, last week

Talking: the Irish Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, speaks to the media on his way to Stormont, last week

THE forthcoming talks that will seek to break the political impasse in Northern Ireland concerning contentious matters such as the use of flags and emblems should inspire all those taking part to be courageous, the Church of Ireland's Northern Ireland Community Relations Working Group has said.

"It is our hope that the talks are entered into wholeheartedly. . . The task of those involved in the talks is not an easy one, and everyone in Northern Ireland needs to accept some responsibility for creating an atmosphere where our elected representatives can find it difficult to make courageous and tough decisions."

The Working Group acknowledged that the achievement of lasting long-term decisions "in a divided society which still carries a great deal of pain and darkness from the past is incredibly difficult".

In a statement on Tuesday, it said that deepening financial pressures only added to the complexity. "There will be many areas where it may seem safer to do nothing. However, principled compromise and accommodation are not weaknesses. . . We encourage all in- volved in the current talks to work beyond a state of semi-permanent impasse."

The Primate of All Ireland, Dr Richard Clarke, giving his synodical address in Armagh, called for commitment. "We want the talks to work," he said.

"People want to see hope; they want to believe that those who lead our country are actually interested in holding out hope for all the communities of Ireland."

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