SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood is heading to Dublin this weekend for first Papal visit to Ireland in 40 years.
Speaking ahead of the trip he commented: “Pope Francis’ time as Leader of the Catholic Church has been characterised by compassion and an unyielding dedication to challenging poverty, exclusion and injustice; a message and mission particulary pertinent in our society today.
“The previous visit of Saint John Paul during the darkest days of conflict was a symbol of hope at a time when the people of Ireland needed it most. It is our hope that Pope Francis’ visit can have the same impact and once more reignite a spirit of reconciliation among our people.
"The world is looking to see the Pope's response in words and actions to the many victims of abuse across Ireland who continue to fight for recogniton and support."
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