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Mary McAleese praises Northern Ireland progress

Published 06/10/2008

Irish president Mary McAleese has wished Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness well in running the 'shared future' of Northern Ireland.

Speaking at a civil rights conference in Derry she said: "There is no turning back. A critical mass of the people of Northern Ireland -- loyalist, republican, unionist, nationalist, Catholic and Protestant -- have indeed, at last, begun to overcome."

"The institutions and structures of the Good Friday and St Andrews Agreements and the framework of human rights legislation which underpins them, provide a sound basis for that equality of citizenship and for relationships of mutual respect and good neighbourliness within Northern Ireland, between north and south and between Ireland and Britain."

Mrs McAleese said that the Civil Rights Association "was about the business of ending wasteful sectarian divisions that had made Northern Ireland a house divided against itself.

"It was about the business of creating one shared and indeed proud narrative for all those who live here. Today that task is well under way."

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