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Governments fail to implement the Good Friday Agreement for former political prisoners

21 November, 2013 - by Martin Ferris TD, Michelle Gildernew

A diverse group of loyalist and republican former political prisoners made a presentation to the Good Friday Agreement Implementation Committee today.
The Good Friday Agreement included commitments regarding supports for former prisoners.
Speaking after the committee Michelle Gildernew MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone said,
“The Good Friday Agreement recognised and valued the role that former political prisoners play in the peace process and the social and economic life of communities. The Agreement committed the governments to remove barriers facing former political prisoners and to support their full integration.
“Since the Agreements have been signed, the bulk of supports for the work of ex-prisoners has been short-term and financed from the EU. This is not good enough. The governments need to step up to the mark and fully honour their commitments under agreements.”
Martin Ferris TD for Kerry North said,
‘Former political prisoners have contributed much to the peace process. We have former prisoners as Ministers and in the leadership of the Executive and the Assembly. As a former prisoner, I am honoured to represent my constituency in the Dáil.
“Former political prisoners can set laws and serve in government yet we still face wide spread discrimination with regard to employment, access to professional schemes, financial services, pensions and travel and adoption and fostering. This government has put in place additional obstacles for ex-prisoners and failed to honour their responsibility under the agreement. They are failing to implement and honour the agreement.”

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