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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 12:42 GMT
NI 'peace pipes' sold at auction
The pipes are on display in the John Hewitt bar

A work of art consisting of pipes smoked by three key players in the Northern Ireland peace process has been auctioned for 6,500.

The Pipes of Peace exhibit consists of pipes belonging to Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, ex-PUP leader David Ervine and former UVF leader Gusty Spence.

The money will go to a cross-community fund set up in memory of Mr Ervine, who died last January.

The pipes will go on permanent display in the John Hewitt pub in Belfast.

The charity in memory of Mr Ervine was set up to fund education, training and development projects for disadvantaged young people from loyalist and nationalist neighbourhoods.

Brendan Mackin, director of the bar in Donegall Street and of the adjoining Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre, said he bought the pipes to show his support for the charity.

"I would support the foundation's scheme for bringing young people together," he said.

"It is a symbolic thing and we are going to hang them in the bar for all to see."

Mr Ervine's widow Jenette said the idea for the Pipes of Peace came up at a meeting of the foundation.

She said: "Davy was fond of smoking a pipe and the suggestion came up: could we get a pipe from Gerry Adams, who used to smoke one?

"We knew Gusty would give us one and the idea just blossomed from there."

She said there were notes written by Gusty Spence on the back of the exhibit about both Mr Adams and Mr Spence.

Mr Ervine was a former loyalist paramilitary who was encouraged by fellow loyalist Mr Spence to get involved in politics and played a key role in the negotiations which led a decade ago to the Good Friday Agreement.

He was elected to the assembly in 1998 as a member of the UVF-linked PUP.

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