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Church leaders meet Tánaiste

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Pictured at Iveagh House in Dublin, during a meeting between the leaders of Ireland’s main churches and Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, are (left to right) Fergal Mythen, Director General, Ireland, UK and Americas Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Minister Coveney, Rev William Davison, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Right Rev Dr Charles McMullen, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Clogher (representing The Most Rev Eamon Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland) and Dr Nicola Brady, General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches.

Following their meeting with Northern Ireland’s political parties at the end of September and with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP earlier this month, the leaders of the main Churches in Ireland met the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD on 25 October at Iveagh House, Dublin.

Following the meeting at the Department for Foreign Affairs, the Church leaders said, “As part of the ongoing dialogue in relation to restoring the devolved institutions to Northern Ireland, following the collapse of the Assembly in January 2017, wewelcomed the opportunity today to meet with Mr Coveney as an important part of those discussions.

“In our previous meetings with the political parties and the Secretary of State over the last few weeks, we have impressed upon them our concerns that the absence of devolved government in Northern Ireland was affectingmany areas of community life, the delivery of public services and cross border co–operation. We conveyed these concerns to the Tánaiste, while emphasising the importance of continuing to build relationships and trust among all concerned, even in these difficult times. We also welcomed the opportunity to hear the Irish government’s assessment of the current situation.

“While not underestimating the challenges involved in moving forward, we emphasised the importance of dialogue and finding the space that encourages engagement and participation. As we had done with the political parties and the Secretary of State previously, we reiterated our willingness and desire to assist in the process where we could.”

The Church leaders present were: The Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke (Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland), Rev William Davison (President of the Methodist Church in Ireland), Monsignor Joseph McGuinness, Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Clogher (representing The Most Rev Eamon Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland), Right Rev DrCharles McMullen (Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland), Rev Brian Anderson, President of the Irish Council of Churches.

 

Issued on behalf of the Church Leaders’ Group by Mark Smith, Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s press officer: For further information contact 028 (048 from RoI) 9041 7208 / +44 (0) 7802 264 354 or Email: msmith@presbyterianireland.org  W: presbyterianireland.org

 

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