President expresses hopes for resolution of school dispute

 

The president, Mrs Mary McAleese, today expressed her hopes for a resolution to the dispute in Ardoyne.

An extract from a letter from Mrs McAleese to Fr Troy was read to Catholic parishioners at Holy Cross Church.

It stated: "Please be assured of my prayers and good wishes, as the Catholic and Protestant people of Ardoyne, who hold a special place in my heart, deal with history's awful legacy and face the challenge of creating a happier future."

Mrs McAleese is originally from Ardoyne.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams later predicted a period of "further turbulence" for the peace process.

The West Belfast MP, who is due to meet the Taoiseach on Tuesday, criticised the Government and the SDLP for signing up to the latest proposals on police reform.

He said: "It would have served the national interests and indeed the Good Friday Agreement process better if the British Government had been faced with a unified demand for London to fulfil its obligations on this issue."

He said the main objective for republicans and others was to get the British government to "face up to its responsibilities" of implementing all aspects of the agreement.

But he added: "I recognise the validity of the argument that it is unlikely to this if some parties are prepared to settle for less than is necessary.

"But this issue can only be addressed positively by fraternal discussions in debate with these parties. A fragmented or fractured or fractious approach will only assist those who are trying to prevent progress." Mr Adams said later: "Despite Sinn Féin's best efforts, the process is likely to go into a period of further turbulence.

"Those who are against change either for sectional political reasons or because they are bigots are reinvigorated and emboldened by the failure of the British government to make it clear through action, as well as rhetoric, that it is totally wedded to righting wrongs and bringing about the necessary changes."