Sinn Féin representatives attend Good Friday Committee
Michelle Gildernew MP for Fermanagh – South Tyrone, Michael Colreavy TD for Sligo - North Leitrim and Martin Ferris TD for Kerry North –West Limerick today attended today’s meeting of the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
The committee was addressed by St Angela’s College Sligo and the University of Ulster on a joint working programme aimed at academic initiatives. Also addressing the committee was Rev Gary Mason from the East Belfast Mission on sectarianism and the trauma of conflict.
Deputy Colreavy welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between St Angela’s College Sligo and the University of Ulster for cooperation between the two institutions.
He said: “The Memorandum of Understanding aims to strengthen teaching, learning and research within and between both institutions, to enhance student learning and to strengthen and build regional and cross border development. This is a very welcome move as it will be of benefit to both institutions and to the North-West area in general.”
Speaking at the committee, Michelle Gildernew MP raised the issue of cross border cooperation in education. She said:
“There needs to be enhanced cooperation between schools on different sides of the border. There is a need for a greater fluidity between schools north and south. Opportunities need to be made available to students who live close to border so that they receive the fullest of education available to them”
Addressing the issue of religious sectarianism and the trauma of the conflict Deputy Martin Ferris said:
“We are 15 years on from the Good Friday Agreement. It has kept a lid on the type of conflict that the six counties experienced for three decades previous. However, there are many issues that still need to be addressed. Sinn Féin have continuously called for an Independent International Truth Commission to deal with many of these outstanding issues.”
Michelle Gildernew MP added:
“There still exists a resistance to a Bill of Rights. It seems to be a ‘bad word’ in certain circles. As we approach the marching season the potential for trouble exists and this needs to be tackled head on.”
Deputy Colreavy also raised the issue of the N16 – A4 road from Belfast to Sligo/Galway:
“The fact that N16 is not on the NRA’s immediate work programme means that the Stormont Executive will not allocate funding for the improvement of the A4. It is essential that such infrastructure is constructed if the North-West is to attract investment. Similarly the construction of Narrow Water Bridge must be seen as a top priority” ENDS