[Sinn Fein]

19th July 2002

Republicans to re-locate Belleek monument

Sinn Fein Assembly member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Gerry McHugh has commended the families of the three volunteers on the Belleek monument and also local republicans for the `sensitive and indeed difficult decision to relocate the IRA memorial in the town'. Mr. McHugh said:

``This decision to relocate the monument in Belleek comes after representations were made by the Hassard family. The monument was never intended to cause offence or further pain to anyone.

``I would commend the families of the three volunteers remembered on the monument whose grief and pain has been largely ignored in all of this and also local republicans for taking this sensitive but difficult decision. I understand that the intention is to remove and repair the monument and relocate it at another site in the Belleek area.

``It is Sinn Fein's belief that issues of flags, emblems, commemorations and memorials must be dealt with in a sensitive but equal manner. There can be no hierarchy of victims and it should be accepted that republicans, like all parties to this conflict, have a right to remember and commemorate our dead.''

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