Mark Durkan lifts peace-building award

Foyle SDLP MP Mark Durkan. DER1815MC134
Foyle SDLP MP Mark Durkan. DER1815MC134

SDLP Foyle Westminster candidate, Mark Durkan, has received a joint peace and reconciliation award with David Trimble.

The duo were honoured for the for their “work in community integration, equality and peace” at a Power Brand Global Forum ceremony at the Kia Oval in London on Friday night.

Lord Alf Dubs, noted for his amendment to allow unaccompanied child refugees to be offered safe refuge in the UK, received the award on behalf of Mark Durkan.

Mr. Durkan welcomed the award “as an acknowledgement of the contribution that colleagues and I made in shaping and negotiating the Good Friday Agreement, ensuring the context of its endorsement by the Irish people North and South, and working for its implementation.”

He said: “It is useful to remember that people have to make the compromises and take on the pressure of trying to make them work – when others may have doubts or there is antagonism in terms of trying to hold things up or hold things back.

“The most important thing to remember, however, is the purpose of the Good Friday Agreement, as signally endorsed by the people of Ireland, to provide a rights-based platform for partnership, equality, co-operation and reconciliation.

“We all need to renew that sense of purpose and those priorities at this time – when the challenges arising from Brexit and the choices we owe each other in the face of new risks need clarity, mutual responsibility and shared endeavour – using the creative potential of neglected or underused aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.”

The citation at the awards read: “Mark Durkan served as Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland alongside David (Lord) Trimble between 2001 and 2002, one of the most crucial phases in the Province’s political history.”