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Vernon Coaker MP, Labour's Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, commenting on the fifth anniversary tomorrow, Tuesday 8 May, of the restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland, said:

"In this year when we commemorate the centenary of the Home Rule Bill, the Ulster Covenant and the Titanic's fateful voyage, we also celebrate the more recent but equally historic anniversary of devolution being restored to Northern Ireland.

"On 8th May 2007, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness led the DUP and Sinn Féin in to a restored power-sharing Executive in Stormont that promised stability, good governance and peaceful progress. Five years on, with Peter Robinson now First Minister, they can be proud of their achievements. The hard work of the First and deputy First Minister, and their Executive colleagues from the Ulster Unionists, SDLP and Alliance, should be commended and is worthy of recognition on this significant date. It's important too that we remember the hard work done by so many from throughout the community during the course of the peace process. Their dedication and commitment laid the foundations for what we are thankful for today.

"Helping to build peace in Northern Ireland was one of the Labour Party's greatest achievements in government. Labour remains committed to supporting progress in Northern Ireland, and we will do all we can to support and help continue the work that has been done by the Executive in the last five years."

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