Irish Republican News · November 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Féin unveils plans for ‘day of reflection’

Sinn Féin mayors and council chairs are to take part in tree-planting ceremonies and civic events next month in memory of those killed in all conflicts, it has been revealed.

The party announced plans for a ‘day of reflection’ in five council areas on December 10th, coinciding with International Human Rights Day.

However, its plans were attacked by hardline unionist Gregory Campbell, who said IRA Volunteers who died in the conflict could not be considered on a par with other victims.

The chairs of Omagh and Strabane councils Sean Clarke and Jarleth McNulty are to take part in tree-planting ceremonies in Omagh and Strabane on December 10th. The Mayor of Derry, Gearoid O hEara and council chairs in Magherafelt and Fermanagh, Patsy Groogan and MGerry McHugh, will hold civic ceremonies.

In a joint statement the mayor and council chairs said they were planning events which valued all experiences of conflict equally.

“The ‘Day of Reflection’ events are not intended to replace the existing commemorative events but are underpinned by a desire to provide civic leadership with the aim of promoting reconciliation and equality,” their statement read.

Councillor McHugh said they were seeking an authentic tribute to all who have lost their lives as a result of war and conflict and to all those who still lived with the pain and memory of that loss.

“The Day of Reflection will serve as a means of reflection and recognition of the suffering of everyone who has been affected by war and conflict in and from County Fermanagh, and that there is a need to have their experiences validated and recognised,” he argued.

The plan was dismissed by unionists, who insisted Sinn Féin mayors and council chairs should instead attend Remembrance Day events commemorating the British war dead.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News