From the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, following today’s proposal from the Loyalist Community Council:
‘I welcome this initiative today. It has taken Northern Ireland longer than hoped on the journey towards a fully democratically ordered society where all its citizens feel that they belong to a single community which embraces many diverse elements, and I would wish to affirm positive moves that will speed this progression.
Loyalism is an important element within the totality of Northern Irish society and it is in the
interests of all that loyalist people should feel confident about the future, and believe also that Loyalism should make its distinctive contribution to the common good. This will mean addressing and resourcing areas such as educational underachievement and encouraging Loyalism to articulate a vision for a fully integrated future for all the people of Northern Ireland.
On the basis that the new group announced today seeks to co-operate with others for the common good of all, the Church of Ireland for its part would be willing to play an active role in acting as a conduit for constructive engagement.