National reconciliation in Ireland – the need for uncomfortable conversations
7pm Wednesday 24 October
Grand Committee Room House of Commons London
A cross-party panel of speakers including:
Lord Alderdice (former leader, Alliance Party)
Lord Glentoran (Conservative peer)
Declan Kearney (Sinn Féin chairperson)
Baroness Smith (former NIO minister)
Meeting hosted by Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey
In recent months Sinn Féin has launched a public initiative on the need for a process of national reconciliation in Ireland.
In a recent speech, Declan Kearney outlined the nature of the initiative:
`Initiatives and gestures aimed at healing past hurt and division are crucial to peace building and reconciliation in the aftermath of political conflict. We believe a new level of engagement is required involving all sections of Irish society, and in particular between republicans and our Protestant and unionist neighbours in the North.
`That type of dialogue needs to be focused on the development of a reconciliation process which attempts to overcome the unresolved hurt on all sides but also inter-communal fear and divisions, partitionism, economic disadvantage, and social inequality.
`None of that will be easy because it will demand that we all have the courage and compassion to try and understand what it has been like to walk in each other’s shoes.
`I have described it as a dialogue of “Uncomfortable Conversations” that did not take place during all the heavy lifting of previous negotiations. Now, however, there’s more heavy lifting to do – that is, how we begin to build new human and community relationships among our people based on equality, increased understanding of each other, and mutual respect for our political differences’.
The link to the event on facebook is here