Letter: Party in the middle missed out

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The Independent Online
Last Sunday's article and accompanying diagram on the Northern Ireland talks were extremely disappointing ("Behind every seat at the peace table stands a ghost", 12 October).

Despite references to "all parties", the role - not to mention the presence - of the fifth largest party in the province was totally ignored. David McKittrick should be aware that the Alliance Party has a unique position as the only party that draws support from across the whole community.

It is also one of the few parties that has never flirted with paramilitaries: rather than demand rights for Unionists, or rights for Nationalists, Alliance is determined to build a future together.

To ignore the 10 per cent of the population who do not wish to be regarded as belonging to either tribe is to do a disservice to the entire community.

Perhaps your correspondent should study this week's Hansard. When answering an opposition question in the House of Lords, Lord Dubs - speaking for the Government - specifically referred to Unionist parties, Nationalist parties and the Alliance Party.

David Ford

Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

Belfast

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