27 April 1998
ANC Delegation visits Ireland
A delegation from the African National Congress will arrive in Belfast tomorrow, Tuesday 28th April, for a four day visit to Ireland.
The ANC delegation includes Mac Maharaj, Minister for Transport in the South African government, Matthews Phosa, Premier of Eastern Transvaal, Valli Moosa, Minister for Local Government and Cyril Ramaphosa, Chief Negotiator for the ANC.
Mac Maharaj will arrive at 5pm at Belfast airport. He will meet with the Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams MP, Councillor Alec Maskey, Pat Rice and Siobhan O'Hanlon at 5.30pm at Connolly House. He will talk to the press before his meeting with Sinn Fin.
Matthews Phosa will also arrive on Tuesday - his arrival time has yet to be confirmed.
On Wednesday 29th at 11.45am Cyril Ramaphosa and Valli Moosa will arrive at Belfast International Airport. At 2pm they will visit the H-Blocks to speak with republican prisoners. At 7pm Cyril Ramaphosa will join Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly at a rally in the Ulster Hall in Belfast.
On Thursday Cyril Ramaphosa will address a meeting in Dublin's Liberty Hall at 8pm with Sinn Fin Vice President Pat Doherty. Mac Maharaj will speak in the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan at 8.30pm with Caoimhghn Caolin TD. Matthews Phosa will visit the Residents Association on Garvaghy Road. On Friday Mac Maharaj and Matthews Phosa will visit republican prisoners in Portlaoise jail. They will be accompanied by Sinn Fin Vice Pat Doherty and Ard Chomhairle member Martin Ferris.
Speaking before their arrival Sinn Fin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said:
``President Mandela's generous response to our request to make available to Sinn Fin the experience of the South African peace process is very welcome.
``This weeks visit to Ireland by senior members of the African National Congress has been organised to share with Sinn Fin and people throughout the island, their experience and insight into the process of negotiations and conflict resolution. ``The ANC have had an ongoing interest in Ireland and have organised several invaluable conferences which were widely attended by the parties involved in the talks.
``While the two situations are not identical there is much in the South African conflict resolution experience that we in Ireland can learn from.''
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