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Gerry Adams sent a poppy pin in act of 'respect' by Fine Gael senator

By Claire Williamson

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has been sent a poppy pin in an act of "mutual respect".

It came from Fine Gael senator Neale Richmond.

The move was in response to a letter from the Sinn Fein President in April when he sent him an Easter Lily to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.

Senator Richmond tweeted the correspondence that had been sent with the attached pins.

He said: "Following his very kind gift of an Easter Lily in April; I sent Gerry Adams a poppy in the spirit of mutual respect #WeWillRememberThem."

In his letter Mr Richmond said: "The symbol of remembrance for these lost souls and the support given subsequently to those that they left behind is the red poppy.

"Inspired by the famous poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, the poppy has been in use since 1921 as a symbol of remembrance.

"This past April you very kindly wrote to me and enclosed an Easter Lily pin which I have kept to this day. In the spirit of commemoration, reconciliation and mutual respect for the differing traditions on this island, I am enclosing for you herewith a metallic poppy pin."

In April Mr Adams penned a similar letter in which he said: "The symbol of our enduring commitment to the ideals and of our respect for all those, from every generation, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for Irish freedom, is the Easter Lily.

"With its simple design and its colours of green, white and orange, the Lily is a symbol long associated with the Rising of 1916 and one with a long and fascinating history.

"The first Easter Lily badges were designed in 1925 by Cumann na mBan."

This year's poppy appeal was launched at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum in Belfast last week.

The Royal British Legion's fundraising target in Northern Ireland is £1.3m, which will go towards the organisation's national target of £47m to continue its vital work delivering practical care and support to the Armed Forces community.

In the last year the generosity of the British public helped the Legion answer more than 1,077,019 requests for help.

Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister received the first poppy of this year's appeal.

Belfast Telegraph

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