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Archbishop of Canterbury - Copyright Heathcliff O'Malley/REX
UK News

Archbishop of Canterbury: Northern Ireland should receive special treatment over welfare reform

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster, the Archbishop of Canterbury said because of the difficulties the country has previously faced, it should be immune from further cuts.

The Stormont Assembly has so far failed to introduce measures set out by Westminster.

It has led to a major political divide with the parties making up the power-sharing body refusing to work together. The splits have been further divided by accusations that the IRA is still in operation.

Speaking about Northern Ireland's welfare reform, the leader of worldwide Anglicans said: "Should Northern Ireland itself be a special case?

"Yes it probably should, although not as a basket case or a charity case, but as a recognition of what has gone wrong in the past."

Talks to resolve the crisis began back in September.

Leaders on both side of the divide have said they hoped the issue would be sorted in days rather than weeks.

The Archbishop was speaking after he gave a keynote address on reconcilliation at the 50th anniversary service of Corrymeela - Northern Ireland's oldest peacemaking organisation.

He called on all Christians to play their part in achieving peace in the region.

"As disciples of Jesus we are called irrevocably to be part of reconciliation: to make it happen, to bear the burden, and demonstrate the hope that none but he can bring," he said.

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