PRESS RELEASE – 30th AUGUST 2004 – IMMEDLATE
ATTENTION NEWSDESKS & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENTS
“All Churches played a vital role in securing Peace”
– Archbishop Seán Brady
Dr Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland today paid tribute to those representatives from all churches that facilitated the securing of the republican ceasefire ten years ago.
Archbishop Brady said, “Today is a great day for Northern Ireland and for the island of Ireland. Ten years on from the first ceasefire, we are now experiencing a culture of peace developing in our land. While the nurturing of a stable society needs to be worked at and ought not to be taken for granted, nonetheless we do have reason today to celebrate this significant anniversary.
“From a church perspective, I wish to pay tribute to those clergy who played such a vital part in building trust amongst those who had the authority to progress the peace process and bring about the ceasefires. I wish to commend in particular those Protestant clergymen who, with great persistence and courage, risked their own lives and livelihoods during the earlier parts of the troubles to engage with the Republican movement.”
Archbishop Brady continued, “It is a welcome fact that in the year ahead I will administer Confirmation to children in Northern Ireland who, for the first time in several generations, have grown up free from the daily memory of killings, bombings, funerals and tears. More than anything, this much improved situation should make us grateful for the progress of the last ten years, however imperfect and incomplete. It should spur all of us on to try to achieve even greater progress in the months and in the years ahead.”
Archbishop Brady concluded, “We are now at this positive point in our history because of our natural concern, as human beings, for faith and justice, coupled with the ability to take risks for the common good. It is again time for all sides to take risks, and such an opportunity presents itself to the parties as they face into talks next month in Kent.”
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)