POLITICIANS AGREE, TO HEAD TO SOUTH AFRICA; 'Cross-Community' trip.(News)
Byline: DONNA CARTON
THEY might not be able to sit together in government but a group of local politicians are jetting off on a "fact-finding" mission next week.
Despite the imminent collapse of the devolved institutions because bickering MLAs can't agree, eight are heading to South Africa on a cross-community trip.
Just days after the reintroduction of direct rule, unionists and nationalists will meet in South Africa as part of a week-long event organised by Glencree peace and reconciliation group.
They will study the South African experience and meet political and church leaders and are scheduled to talk with former president FW de Klerk.
Despite the recent political chaos at Stormont a spokesman for Glencree, based in Co Wicklow, said no-one had yet pulled out if the trip.
"Everyone is still very positive and committed," said Glencree's Ian White. "Despite all the problems, politicians are keen to lead and they try to do that and are always working to find a way to do that."
Mr White believes the timing of the trip, which has been in planning for a while, could, in fact, be seen as positive.
He said: "The group will meet politicians and others involved in the peace process there, including church leaders and their huge role. …