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Blaney and Murphy condemn car bomb attack in Newry

Added 23-Feb-2010

Commenting at the close of the 40th plenary conference of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Cavan this morning, the Assembly Co-Chairs, Niall Blaney TD and Paul Murphy MP, said the conference had been one of the most successful of recent years.

However, the Co-Chairs also took the opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms last night's car bomb in Newry, and said that those responsible represented a past that all those involved in the Assembly were working to emerge from.

Deputy Blaney and Mr Murphy also said that the contributions made by all guest speakers and members of the Assembly made positive contributions on the conference theme "Towards Economic Recovery."

The conference heard this morning from the US Special Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, who briefed members on his work in attracting investment in Northern Ireland. Mr Kelly's address followed contributions by the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, yesterday, along with the Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Patrick Honohan. The PSNI Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, and the Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, also spoke to the Assembly yesterday.

Deputy Blaney commented, "This conference heard from a range of high-profile speakers. Our focus was on finding real and practical solutions to the economic challenges that confront all of us, Irish and British alike. The contributions of the Taoiseach, Professor Honohan, and Declan Kelly specifically focussed our minds on the economy, and I would support the Taoiseach's assertion that recent tough decisions taken with regard to the banking sector and the establishment of the National Assets Management Agency were required to stabilise our economy.

"As Declan Kelly said today, we are entering a more positive era, and we must harness the goodwill towards Ireland that exists in the United States of America to identify and encourage investment and development on both sides of the border."

Mr Murphy added, "Yesterday's joint address by the PSNI Chief Constable and the Garda Commissioner was a highly significant moment - something that would not have been imaginable when the Assembly first met as the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly 20 years ago.

"In this regard, I would like to take the opportunity to condemn in the strongest terms last night's car bomb explosion in Newry. Those responsible clearly set out with the intention to kill and injure, and we should provide the PSNI and the Garda with as much support as possible in their work against dissidents.

"Those responsible represent a grim past that all of us involved in the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly have been working for two decades to emerge from."



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