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Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness told to 'up their game' to bring Protestants and Catholics together

By Noel McAdam

Published 21/05/2015

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

The First and Deputy First Ministers have been told to "up their game" on plans to bring Protestants and Catholics closer together.

A blueprint was unveiled following years of political impasse, during which an Assembly working group on a shared future collapsed after Alliance and Ulster Unionists pulled out.

The aim was to help divided communities forge closer links with the removal of interface barriers and the development of shared areas.

Together: Building A United Future also envisaged 10,000 new training places bringing Protestant and Catholic youths together, as well as 100 summer camps for teenagers. But Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said "precious little" had been achieved in the two years since the programme was launched. He said Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness needed to "up their game". "To quote Shakespeare, it has been 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing'," he said.

Now Alliance has tabled a motion calling on the First Ministers to give a detailed update on the implementation of the plans.

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle, who is deputy chair of the OFMDFM committee, said the department had failed to live up to its promises. "Seventeen years after the Good Friday Agreement, this is not good enough," he said.

OFMDFM argued, however, work was "progressing well" across all elements of the plan.

Belfast Telegraph

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