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Statement by Tánaiste following meeting with Loyalist Communities Council

Following his meeting with the Loyalist Communities Council, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney said:

“I was pleased to be able to meet with the Loyalist Communities Council to discuss the work now being undertaken to implement the commitments set out in the “Loyalist Declaration of Transformation” which was issued on 9th April last. This work is focused on helping to transform loyalist communities; to promote loyalist culture and to put a definitive end to criminality.

As I said at that time, leaders of loyalism played a crucial role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement and in winning the referendum that endorsed the Agreement. It is of great concern that, 20 years on from the Agreement, there are communities that have not fully benefitted from the peace process. We as a Government remain determined to work in partnership with the British Government and representatives from all communities and sectors to address these concerns.

It is important that the commitment to eradicate criminality from loyalist communities is upheld without exception. With this firm commitment, efforts towards a transformation within loyalist communities can be a real enabler for the social, economic and political development of Northern Ireland as a whole.”