[Sinn Fein]

29 April 1998

Ireland - South Africa: The Struggle for Peace and Justice

Sinn Fein representative for Dublin South West Seán Crowe today announced that Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress will address a public meeting entitled ``Ireland - South Africa: The Struggle for Peace and Justice'' in Liberty Hall at 8.00pm on Thursday 30th April. Also on the platform will be Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty and head of the Womens Department Anne Speed.

A delegation from the African National Congress is currently on a four day visit to Ireland at the invitation of Sinn Fein. Other members of the delegation include Valli Moosa, Minister for Local Government, Matthews Phosa, a senior member of the African National Congress and Premier of Eastern Transvaal and Mac Maharaj Minister for Transport in the South African government.

Speaking today Mr. Crowe said:

``I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to welcome Cyril Ramaphosa to Dublin as a guest of Sinn Fein.

``Primarily we are going to listen and to learn from the remarkable South African experience of negotiating a peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy. We hope to apply, where practical, those lessons to our efforts to win for the Irish people a lasting peace in our country.

``Clearly, there are differences to our conflicts but there are also similarities. Nationalists since the foundation of the northern state have experienced economic and religious discrimination which many commentators have compared to apartheid.

``In many ways we have a shared common experience.The ANC, which has successfully negotiated a democratic settlement can teach all of us involved in the Irish peace process much, both in terms of the process of conflict resolution and also in the difficult task of reconciliation and reconstruction.

``The ANC and President Nelson Mandela's support of the peace process in Ireland has been invaluable and in the past has included several conferences on conflict resolution which were widely attended by the parties involved in the talks process.

``I hope that the people of Dublin will provide a warm welcome to Cyril Ramaphose when he arrives on Thursday.''

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