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Good Friday Agreement Committee hears of breach of key commitment by the British Government

24 May, 2012 - by Martin Ferris TD, Westminster

The Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee today received a presentation by the Human Rights Consortium.

The Good Friday Agreement committed the British Government to legislate for a Bill of Rights in the North, the development of an All Ireland Charter of Rights and the Irish Government to establish a Human Rights Commission in the South with equivalent powers to that in the North.

The Consortium outlined that British Government had failed to deliver a Bill of Rights, that the Charter of Rights remained outstanding and raised concern over the actions of the Irish Government under their commitments.

Speaking after the meeting Conor Murphy MP and MLA said;

“Fourteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the British Government has refused to legislate for a Bill of Rights for the North. This is a clear breach of their commitments and leaves citizens without the protections promised on Good Friday. A Bill of Rights would safeguard the rights of all sections of the community in the North and in particular those most vulnerable.”

Martin Ferris TD, added;

“While the British Government is clearly in breach of its commitments the Irish Government has allowed this breach to continue. Recently the proposals to amalgamate the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission in this state undermine the rights of our citizens and steps outside the GFA.

“In following this course of action the Irish Government is losing its moral authority to hold the British Government to account and providing succour to those elements of our society who are opposed to safeguarding the rights of our citizens.

“Sinn Féin has tabled legislation to enhance and safeguard the role of the Human Rights Commission in the south.”


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