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Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Row over Clinton's Derry visit
Mr Clinton meets Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband
Mr Clinton meets Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband
A row has erupted over former US President Bill Clinton's visit to Londonderry.

Mr Clinton arrived in Ireland on Sunday for a five-day visit to the Republic of Ireland and arrives in Londonderry on Wednesday afternoon for a two day visit to Northern Ireland.

As president he made three historic visits to the province and this is his first trip back.

However, some Derry Protestants are said to be annoyed at the security arrangements for Wednesday's visit, when Mr Clinton will address the city from Guildhall Square.

Members of the Protestant community have complained of intimidating security arrangements for the visit.

They say they will have to travel along the fringe of the nationalist Bogside area to reach the only access point to Guildhall Square.


The city has not forgotten the last time Mr Clinton visited the city in 1995 when he took part in what turned out to be a nationalist jamboree at the Guidhall

Gregory Campbell MLA

Some residents of the Waterside are believe the arrangements show a clear advantage to Catholics living in the Bogside, and say they will endure intimidation if they are forced to travel to see Mr Clinton with current arrangements.

Democratic Unionist councillor Gregory Campbell said that the organisers of Mr Clinton's visit must ensure that a repeat of the 1995 visit will not happen.

Mr Campbell, who is also Northern Ireland regional development minister, said he would meet Mr Clinton to "put forward a unionist perspective".

He said: "The city has not forgotten the last time Mr Clinton visited the city in 1995 when he took part in what turned out to be a nationalist jamboree at the Guildhall.

"Unionists in Londonderry clearly remember the sight of hundreds of Irish tricolours and the virtual canonisation of John Hume."

In Northern Ireland Mr Clinton is to visit Belfast, Enniskillen and Londonderry during Wednesday and Thursday, before travelling to England.

On Sunday in the Irish Republic he played golf with the former Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dick Spring and met with President McAleese at her official residence on Monday.

He delivered this year's Independent Lecture at Trinity College Dublin on Monday evening ahead of a celebrity studded dinner held on Tuesday to raise IR£700,000 for the Northern Ireland Fund for Peach and Reconciliation.

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