19/12/2002

Murphy calls for 'mutual trust' between communities

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Paul Murphy has been stressing the need to achieve peace and friendship across the island of Ireland during a seasonal visit to the Republic.

Mr Murphy, who visited both Dublin and Co Wicklow, met with numerous community activists and praised projects such as the Shankill/Shankill Project in Dublin, which was established in 1994 to bring together young people from the different traditions of the Shankill in Belfast and Shankill in Dublin.

Attended the opening of the Peace Resource Centre at the Glencree Centre for Reconciliation in Co Wicklow, Mr Murphy highlighted the importance of establishing trust and confidence between political parties in order to implement the Good Friday Agreement in full.

He added: "We have made progress but governments and politicians cannot achieve these goals alone.

"They can only be achieved and maintained in an environment and context of mutual trust, where people can reconcile their cultural, religious and political differences through dialogue, not through violence."

During his visit to the offices of the Shankill/Shankill project, Mr Murphy praised such initiatives and said its successes in promoting better understanding between the young people of differing traditions was important.

He added: "The programmes and workshops in which you are involved provide a unique opportunity for peace building and reconciliation between the young people of the Shankill areas both in Belfast and Dublin.

"It is important that the lessons learnt by you all are shared with your friends and family. This can only help us achieve our goal of peace and friendship across the island of Ireland between all sections of all communities."

(MB)

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