Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 16:02 UK

Pull down NI peace walls: Paisley

Peace wall
Northern Ireland has more than 40 peace walls

First Minister Ian Paisley has said that he would like to see work begin on taking down Northern Ireland's peace walls.

Speaking at ministerial question time Mr Paisley welcomed the Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg's recent call for the structures to be demolished.

However, he said that local communities would ultimately be responsible for making the decision.

"Outsiders pulling down walls will accomplish nothing," said Mr Paisley.

"But when those on both sides of the wall mutually come to agreement and say we are taking down these walls, then we will have won a great victory and I look forward to that victory being sealed over and over again in these areas where there has been great trouble in the past days."

More than 40 so-called peace walls have been erected in sectarian flashpoint areas in Belfast, Londonderry and other parts of Northern Ireland.

During last week's investment conference Michael Bloomberg said the wall should be removed "in the interests of peace and prosperity".

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08 May 08 |  Northern Ireland
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