Unionists invited to attend Derry’s unity conference

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, MLA with Colr. Kevin Campbell and Colr. Elisha McCallion at the launch of the Unity Conference to be held in the Millenium Forum on 28th January.  (2701JB12)
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, MLA with Colr. Kevin Campbell and Colr. Elisha McCallion at the launch of the Unity Conference to be held in the Millenium Forum on 28th January. (2701JB12)

Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness has appealed for unionists to come to the Uniting Ireland conference organised by his party, which will be held in the city on Saturday.

The conference will be held in the Millennium Forum on Saturday from 2pm to 4pm and is expected to attract more than one thousand people.

A wide range of figures will address the conference, including Ulster unionist MLA Basil McCrea, former senior civil servant and economist George Quigley, trade unionist Inez McCormack, and Karen Mullan of the Pink Ladies, among others.

Mr McGuinness said while the conference is open to everyone, unionists would be particularly welcome.

“I would encourage people of all political persuasions and none to come along next Saturday, and in particular, members of the unionist community of this city and beyond will be particularly welcome.

“It is clear the list of speakers is very interesting and engaging. I am confident that their contribution will add significantly to the debate on this important issue.

“It is all adding up to what will be a very interesting debate and discussion around the concept of Irish reunification,” he said.

The Deputy First Minister also said he is looking forward to a “civilised and sensible debate” at the conference.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said the conference is designed to be inclusive.

“We are trying to make this event inclusive and encourage as wide an audience as possible to come along, so we felt it was important to get out and about in the city centre to deliver hundreds of invites and information flyers and engage with members of the public. A lot of people we met had seen the launch covered in the local papers and were eager to find out more about the conference. I would like to emphasise that admission is free but advise those attending to arrive early, preferably by 1.30pm,” he said.