30/08/2002

Archbishop Eames appeals for calm

The Church of Ireland Primate, Archbishop Robin Eames, has called for a period of calm following a further week of violence across north and east Belfast.

Archbishop Eames said: “After months of violence and tension between communities in Belfast and across the Province, I appeal for a period of calm in which progress could be made through contact and dialogue to bring an end to a situation of the greatest danger.

"If the current level of inter-community trouble continues lives will be lost. Blame and counter-blame will achieve nothing. It is surely in the interests of all our communities that as winter approaches we draw back to create a situation in which commonsense replaces anger."

D Eames also appealed to those with influence in both loyalist and nationalist areas to use that influence "to allow a period in which violence gives way to genuine attempts to reach agreement in the hope that we can stop the mayhem on our streets".

He added: “It is my earnest prayer that such a period would allow people of goodwill in both communities to find ways in which all our people could live as neighbours rather than suffer as enemies.”

UUP assembly member Sir Reg Empey backed the Archbishop's call and asked people in flashpoint areas to heed Dr Eames's call in finding a solution to the ongoing trouble.

Dr Eames made his appeal after the Assistant Chief Constable for Belfast, Alan McQuillan, accused the IRA and UVF of fuelling recent trouble.

(MB)

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