SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP will attend the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II tomorrow (Monday 19th September) in Westminster.
Speaking ahead of the funeral, Mr Eastwood expressed his sincere condolences to all those who are experiencing a sense of loss following the death of Elizabeth.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The death of Queen Elizabeth II has been a moment in history that most of us will remember for the rest of our lives. But I want to acknowledge that, for many, it has been a moment of immense pain and loss that will take some time to come to terms with. My thoughts and the thoughts of all those in the SDLP are with people across our communities for whom Queen Elizabeth II held a cherished place in their lives and in their hearts.
“Acknowledging that Elizabeth stretched herself to contribute to peace in Ireland and reconciliation between the people of these islands is not a difficult thing to do. Reaching out an arm of comfort and condolence to our friends and neighbours experiencing the pain of this moment is not a difficult thing to do. Respecting our neighbours, comforting them when they need it and listening to their experiences of someone they loved is what we do on this island, it is in our DNA to comfort during the pain of loss. It does not diminish me as an Irish nationalist, and it has never diminished others, to pay our respects in a quiet, dignified and conciliatory way.
“The story of the people of these islands is fundamentally and inseparably intertwined. It’s reflected in the Irish proverb – Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. We all live in each other’s shadow. I hope that we can continue to build on the legacy that Elizabeth and others helped forge.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.”