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Peace charity praises Robinson and McGuinness

The Co-operation Ireland charity has praised Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness for "going the extra mile" in recent negotiations. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker
John Monaghan

A CHARITY dedicated to peace building across Ireland has praised Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness for "going the extra mile" at an event expected to be one of the DUP leader's last official engagements.

Christopher Moran, chairman of Co-operation Ireland, said he believed the recent agreement between the parties at Stormont was a genuine "fresh start."

Speaking at Co-operation Ireland's annual event in London last night, Mr Moran said: "The two ministers are like Co-operation Ireland's two best friends, always there when you need them, always encouraging and always willing to go that extra mile for peace."

"They are comfortable enough in their own skins to go outside their own comfort zones, whether that be attending events at Windsor Castle or a GAA dinner."

He added: "In his last official Co-operation Ireland event before he retires, I would like to put our thanks to Mr Robinson on the record. I believe Peter's contribution as First Minister will be assessed as one which copper-fastened the political settlement."

In a rare intervention, the Co-operation Ireland chair said the two men were to be "commended for their approach to what were difficult negotiations."

Mr Robinson, who is set to retire returned the praise saying it was "fitting one of our first public events after the Stormont Agreement is this Co-operation Ireland gathering".

"At every crucial moment in the political process in recent years Co-operation Ireland have had a vital part to play. And if you can be as supportive of my successor as you have been of me then I am sure that together great things can be achieved."

Set up in 1979, Co-operation Ireland - which has President Michael D Higgins and Queen Elizabeth as joint patrons - aims to promote dialogue and collaboration both within Northern Ireland between north and south.

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