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Walking an inch to heal Northern Ireland

President of Ireland Mary McAleese, seated center, meets with delegates from the Churches Forum from the borough of Coleraine, Northern Ireland, at her private residence in Dublin. Leading the delegation was Bert Ritchie, to McAleese’s left. Ritchie, minister for the Coleraine church of Christ, is chairman of the Forum, a platform for religious groups in Northern Ireland, once ravaged by violence, to dialogue.

The president “showed a genuine interest in our work,” Richie said Sept. 26. “The fact that such a diverse group had travelled to meet her was in itself an accomplishment in our divided society.” In relating her own efforts to heal the nation, McAleese said that “the journey will not be completed mile by mile, but inch by inch.”

“Today we walked an inch,” Ritchie said.

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