Irish President Turns Down Invite To Mark NI Centenary

The DUP has asked the Irish President Michael D Higgins if he is "officially snubbing" Northern Ireland's centenary.

Strangford MLA Peter Weir has written to the Irish President asking if his office is joining the SDLP and SF in boycotting events which mark NI's centenary.

Mr Weir said: "The Republic of Ireland's President has turned down an invitation to a service in Armagh marking the centenary of Northern Ireland. I have written to the Irish President asking if his office is officially snubbing all events marking this milestone in the decade of centenaries.
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"If President Higgins is officially snubbing NI Centenary events, I have urged him to think again. This island has a been living through a decade of centenary milestones. At every stage unionism has engaged positively and sought to use such events to advance reconciliation and peace.

"It is narrowminded and deeply disappointing that Sinn Fein and the SDLP have vetoed almost every publicly funded initiative to mark Northern Ireland's centenary. They even vetoed the placement of a centenary stone in Parliament Buildings even though it was being gifted by unionist MLAs.

"For such high office in the Republic of Ireland to join Sinn Fein and the SDLP in boycotting centenary events speaks volumes about that country's commitment to reconciliation and progress."

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