Thursday 25 December 2014

Clinton tells Derry: You have to finish the job

Lise Hand in Derry

Published 05/03/2014 | 13:57

Former US President Bill Clinton with John Hume and his wife Pat as they walk along Peace Bridge in Derry city
Former US President Bill Clinton with John Hume and his wife Pat as they walk along Peace Bridge in Derry city
Former US President Bill Clinton with former SDLP leader John Hume and his wife Pat as they walk along Peace Bridge in Derry

Former US President Bill Clinton told Northern politicians and people attending an event in Derry: "You have to finish the job".

Mr Clinton was speaking at Guildhall Square in Derry city, almost 20 years after the first visited Northern Ireland. In his address, Mr Clinton told the audience that countries around the world involved in conflict had "looked to Northern Ireland for inspiration".

But he warned that the work of the Peace Process is not yet complete, with unresolved disputes remaining over flags and parades. "You have to finish the job," he said. "There are still issues that remain unresolved since the 19 years since the ceasefire and 16 years since the Good Friday Agreement. How that is resolved is not for me to say, it is for you."

Mr Clinton also paid tribute to former SDLP leader, John Hume, and also to the late South Africa leader Nelson Mandela.

Later today, the former US President will visit Queen's University, Belfast, for the opening of a leadership institute named after him, where he is expected to meet Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Mr McGuinness before he delivers the inaugural William J Clinton lecture at the university.

"Life in the future, think of tomorrow," he told the audience in Guildhall Square. "What kills people is not adversity. What kills people's spirit is believing that every tomorrow is going to be just like yesterday.

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