George Mitchell returns to Stormont

Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Comments
Toggle font size
Print

Former US Senator George Mitchell has paid an emotional visit to Stormont after promising to take his son to visit the Assembly.

Mr Mitchell chaired the painstaking peace talks which eventually led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

His son Andrew, aged 14, joined members of his family at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday to watch the politicians at work.

Mr Mitchell told UTV: "Today is the day. I had a really wonderful experience with my son sitting up in the gallery at the Assembly listening to a debate that did not involve conflict or sectarian differences.

"It involved the ordinary issues of life in a democratic society."

The retired politician, who later acted as US Middle East envoy, has been on a tour of the region for the past three days.

One of the highlights, he said, was the black taxi tour which he took of the Falls Road and Shankill areas of west Belfast conducted by former prisoners now employed in the tourism industry.

He described this as "one small example of dramatic change."

However, Mr Mitchell said there was still work to be done in securing peace.

He explained: "I don't think any of us should exaggerate the realities. There are differences - there continue to be differences.

"The peace line still stands and I don't think genuine reconciliation - full reconciliation - will come immediately but perhaps over time with generational changes."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
0 Comments
No comments. Be the first to comment.
POST A COMMENT:
Name:  
Email address*:    
Location:  
Validation:
House Rules:  
Your Comment:  
[All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately. Your name, location and comment will be displayed on this page if your post passes moderation.]
BRIAN ROWAN
Twenty years ago there was something said but not really heard.
MOST POPULAR GALLERIES
Larne
Mon 31 March 2014
Fatal shooting in west Belfast
Sat 19 April 2014
Carrick disturbances
Fri 11 April 2014