Uniting Ireland conference launched

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, MLA with Colr. Kevin Campbell, Colr. Elisha McCallion, Colr. Sean McGlinchey and Colr. Gerry McMonagle at the launch of the Unity Conference to be held in the Millenium Forum on 28th February.  (2401JB21)

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, MLA with Colr. Kevin Campbell, Colr. Elisha McCallion, Colr. Sean McGlinchey and Colr. Gerry McMonagle at the launch of the Unity Conference to be held in the Millenium Forum on 28th February. (2401JB21)

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Sinn Féin formally launched its Uniting Ireland conference at a press conference in the Millennium Forum on Friday morning.

The conference, which will be held on Saturday, was launched by Martin McGuinness, who made a particular appeal for unionists to come along.

It will be addressed by Ulster Unionist MLA Basil McCrea, human rights activist and trade unionist Inez McCormack, a former senior civil servant and economist George Quigley, and former Donegal County Manager, Michael McLoone.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will also address the conference.

Sinn Féin councillor Elisha McCallion also announced on Friday that Karen Mullan of cancer support group, The Pink Ladies, will also speak at the event.

Mr McGuinness was joined at the launch by Letterkenny councillor, Gerry McMonagle, and Limavady councillor, Sean McGlinchey.

The Mid Ulster MP called for as many people as possible to attend Saturday’s conference.

“Derry is very honoured to be hosting another one of these United Ireland conferences. Successful conferences have already been held in an number of Irish cities, as well as international events in San Francisco and Toronto.

“I am very hopeful that we will see a large turnout at the event next Saturday. I think it is very important that people don’t need any invitation, other than the one I am extending, and that it does not cost anything,” she said.

Mr McGuinness appealed to unionists in particular to take part in the debate on uniting Ireland at the conference.

“We expect the Derry conference to be the biggest so far. A lot of preparations have gone on over the last two months to pull all this together. 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 would be very welcome,” he said.