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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 13:21 GMT
Maskey to honour war dead
Lord Mayor Alex Maskey
Lord Mayor Maskey laid Somme wreath in July
The Sinn Fein lord mayor of Belfast has invited the Royal British Legion to a reception in Belfast city hall on Monday in recognition of the dead of the two world wars and other conflicts.

It has been a tradition that the lord mayor attends the Legion's Remembrance Sunday ceremony when people across the UK pay tribute to the fallen.

But Mr Maskey will be leading a trade delegation to China on behalf of the council on 10 November when the legion's ceremony is to be held this year.

The lord mayor said he took the decision to hold the reception as part of ongoing dialogue he is having with the Legion and other groups.

Controversial appointment

Mr Maskey said he hoped the invitation would be seen as a gesture of good will.

The election of Belfast first Sinn Fein mayor this year was controversial for unionist councillors who have refused to elect a deputy lord mayor to work alongside him.

In July, Mr Maskey declined to take part in the traditional Somme Commemoration at City Hall.

But in a move which surprised some, he did lay a wreath in honour of the war dead at the Cenotaph accompanied by other Sinn Fein councillors.

See also:

27 Jun 02 | N Ireland
01 Jul 02 | N Ireland
06 Jun 02 | N Ireland
11 Nov 01 | N Ireland
02 Oct 02 | N Ireland
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