Pope hails North's peace 'inspiration'

Northern Ireland should be an inspiration to those around the world seeking peace, Pope Benedict XVI said today.

Northern Ireland should be an inspiration to those around the world seeking peace, Pope Benedict XVI said today.

It has shown that conflict, no matter how ingrained, can be overcome, the pontiff told Ireland’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Noel Fahey.

The two met at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, around 19 miles south-east of Rome.

“The Northern Ireland peace process has been a long and arduous endeavour,” he said.

“At last there is hope that it will bear enduring fruit.”

Pope Benedict said peace had come about in the north through international support, determined political resolve from governments in Dublin and London and willingness on both sides of the divide to forgive.

He added: “It is my fervent prayer that the peace which is already bringing renewal to the north will inspire political and religious leaders in other troubled zones of the world.”

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