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Archbishop of Canterbury meets Ulster loyalists in London

Published 20/05/2016

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby met members of the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) in London
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby met members of the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) in London
Winston Irvine

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby has met with Ulster Loyalists during a meeting in London.

Former Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Ian Adamson, PUP member Winston Irvine and former UDA Brigadier Jackie McDonald were among the delegation from the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC)

Dr Justin Welby's press office said Friday's private meeting was held over lunch at his residence, Lambeth Palace.

Mr Irvine said the meeting was held at the invitation of the Archbishop, for him to be informed of the origins and work of the LCC; in particular its role in committing former loyalist paramilitary groups to the peace process and opposing all forms of criminality; and its work to address severe educational under-achievement in loyalist communities.

During the meeting, the LCC members and the Archbishop discussed issues relating to social justice, peace and reconciliation and resolving the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

The LCC was represented by David Campbell (Chairman), Richard Monteith (Secretary), Winston Irvine, Jackie McDonald, and Robert Williamson.

The group launched in October 2015 with the backing of the three main loyalist paramilitary groups, the UDA, the UVF and the Red Hand Commando.

The groups denounced criminality and gave their support for an initiative aimed at re-engaging them with the peace process.

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