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Former Methodist president calls for power-sharing restoration

Harold Good penned an open letter to Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill. Picture by Hugh Russell

THE former Methodist minister who witnessed IRA decommissioning has urged the leaders of the DUP and Sinn Féin to restore power-sharing.

Reverend Harold Good penned an open letter to Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill asking them to "come together and do whatever it will take to restore OUR assembly".

Prompted to write following last week's 20th anniversary of the Omagh bomb, the former Methodist president said: "Surely we owe it to these yet quietly grieving people of incredible courage – and to those for whom they grieve – to come together and do whatever it will take to restore our assembly and our confidence in normal effective governance.

"The horror of all horrors would be to contemplate the alternative, which some would suggest, would be another event of catastrophic proportions to bring us to our political senses. God forbid!"

He said most people were not directly affected by the current political stalemate and were becoming accustomed to political inactivity, without realising the consequences.

"So I plead with you once more, listen not to predictable and tired old voices like mine, but to those from Omagh and to so many others from across our community who, out of their unspeakable suffering, have shown us in their own incontrovertible way how to face the challenges of the present and the future with dispassionate courage," he wrote on eamonnmallie.com.

"I will continue to watch this space with ongoing and deep concern, yet refusing to give up on my hopes of what you and all of our political leaders can yet deliver."

Rev Good urged Mrs Foster and Ms O'Neill to "undertake the necessary courageous journey" similar to that taken by the people of Omagh in the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA atrocity.

The former Methodist minister was was one of two independent witnesses who oversaw the decommissioning of IRA weapons in 2005.

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