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Sinn Féin praises Co Fermanagh Orange Order for joint talk on the Easter Rising

Political commentator Alex Kane, former Irish government minister Michael McDowell and Irish News columnist Dr Brian Feeney at the Easter Rising talk in Enniskillen. Picture from Alex Kane/Twitter
John Monaghan

A TALK on the Easter Rising jointly organised by the Orange Order in Co Fermanagh "represents the way forward", the chairman of Sinn Féin has said.

Making History Talk - Understanding 1916 was held in Enniskillen last Thursday.

It was organised by the Fermanagh Orange Order, Church of Ireland, and Presbyterians and Methodists from Enniskillen.

The talk was chaired by political commentator Alex Kane, and heard from speakers including Irish News columnist Dr Brian Feeney and former Irish government minister Senator Michael McDowell.

Stuart Brooker, grand master of Co Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge, could not be reached for comment but a spokesman for the lodge said the discussion was one of several being held to analyse important events from 1916.

"Through dialogue and partnership it was decided to hold a series of public events to promote greater understanding and better relationships in the wider community.

"In this notable decade of centenaries, topics of discussion have previously included the Ulster Covenant, the outbreak of the First World War, incorporating the Battle of the Somme, as well as the Easter Rising."

He added: "We look forward to continuing the wider debate on other historical landmarks over the course of the next few years, including the end of the Great War and the creation of Northern Ireland."

Sinn Féin MLA and party chairman Declan Kearney, who spoke from the floor during the event, said he wished to "congratulate the Orange Order and the Protestant section of our community" for organising the discussion.

"This represents the way forward to building an inclusive, equal, agreed and shared future. I hope we can look forward to similar initiatives as that taken by the Orange and Protestant Churches in Fermanagh being organised elsewhere.

"Willingness to engage was key to the accommodation on the north Belfast parade impasse (and)... may now open the potential to resolving the small number of remaining parading disputes."

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