Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that Irish nationalism is united in rejecting the notion that murder, like that of prison officer David Black, can be carried out in Ireland's name.

Speaking at the conclusion of the SDLP's annual conference, Mr Gilmore called for more work to be done on reconciliation.

SDLP leader Alasdair Mc Donnell told his party's annual conference that the "fightback" is well under way.

Mr McDonnell spoke of a re-energised SDLP with 40 new representatives across Northern Ireland.

He spoke of the murder of Mr Black and said that those who claim to have carried it out in Ireland's name have learnt nothing from the island's troubled past.

Among the main issues on the agenda were parading, policing and Northern Ireland’s economy.

This morning, Alban Maginness, MLA for North Belfast, criticised the "political system" for failing to address the problem of sectarianism in Northern Ireland.

He said the question needed to be asked as to whether "the DUP/Sinn Féin axis" really wants to address "the fault line of sectarianism" within politics there.

Mr Maginness also hit out at what he described as "a concerted, unified DUP/Orange assault" on the Parades Commission in advance of a contentious parade in north Belfast at the end of August.

Once the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, the SDLP has been losing electoral ground to Sinn Féin since 2001.

Last month, DUP leader Peter Robinson claimed Sinn Féin's fear of the SDLP was paralysing some decisions at the Stormont Executive.