Large turnout at Uniting Ireland conference

Rev. David Latimer, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams arriving at yesterday's 'Towards a New Republic' conference. (3101PG16)
Rev. David Latimer, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams arriving at yesterday's 'Towards a New Republic' conference. (3101PG16)

There was a large turnout at Derry’s Millennium Forum yesterday for the Uniting Ireland conference organised by Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were among the speakers along with Ulster Unionist Basil McCrea, former senior civil servant and economist George Quigley and trade unionist Inez McCormick.

Those in attendance also included Rev. David Latimer, Minister of First Derry Presbyterian Church and Donegal Sinn Fein TD, Pearse Doherty.

Ahead of the conference the Deputy First MInister Martin McGuinness said he was looking forward to a “civilised and sensible debate, while local Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said the conference was designed to be inclusive.

Basil McCrea said unionists should not be afraid of entering the deabate on a united Ireland and while acknowledging that some unionists might regard his decision to participate as “strange”, he felt it necessary to enage in debate. He added that traditional political ideas must be challenged in the face of economic uncertainity.