McGuinness promises to host Aras garden fete on July 12
Published 20/10/2011 | 05:00
PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Martin McGuinness yesterday promised to continue to host a garden party in Aras an Uachtarain on July 12 -- the day unionists commemorate the Battle of the Boyne.
Mr McGuinness said the occasion that was initiated by President Mary McAleese was something he would continue if elected president.
"I'd be very determined to do that," Mr McGuinness told the Irish Independent. "I'm passionate about ensuring that the doors of the Aras are kept open to our unionist brothers and sisters.
"We've made huge strides forward in the North and I've been in government for five years with Peter Robinson and Ian Paisley and important things are happening in the North and we've got to keep that going.
"That's why I've proposed we should have a 'Decade of Reconciliation' from 2012 in this country because a lot of people have been hurt as a result of the conflict and I think I've been at the heart of a process that has unified the people of Ireland for peace against any other conflict of Ireland," he said.
"The more unionists are made feel welcome and invited here and respected, the better it is for all of us."
He also revealed how he would like to welcome the homeless to the Phoenix Park residence on Christmas Day.