[Sinn Fein]

20th June 2003

Anne Brolly takes initiative on Somme Commemoration

Limavady Mayor Anne Brolly today announced details of two events she intends to take part in to commemorate the Battle of the Somme.

Cllr. Brolly said:

``I would like to outline what I, as Mayor of Limavady, intend doing with respect to the forthcoming commemoration of the battle of the Somme.

Before doing so let me say that in my term as Mayor I will try my best to represent all the people irrespective of their political allegiance.

My approach to all my official duties will be to include people rather than exclude and to be respectful to the beliefs and feelings of others. I have a responsibility as Mayor to try and bridge the divisions which exist in our society.

I intend to hold a reception for the British Legion in the Mayors parlour on Saturday afternoon. I am pleased to accept an invitation from the British Legion to attend their church service of remembrance on Sunday.

This I hope will be the start of an ongoing engagement and dialogue with the Legion. I would like to establish common ground with them about the nature of how we remember those killed, with particular reference to the remembrance day events in November.

This is a difficult issue for nationalists and republicans, a difficulty added to by the conflict here over the last thirty years in which the British forces have been involved.

I do not want any events which I am involved in to be marred by controversy or reduced to political point scoring exercises.''

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