Crowe raises conflict legacy issues with the Irish Government
Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, who is a member of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), raised urgent conflict legacy issues with Minister of State at Department of Foreign Affairs, Seán Sherlock.
Crowe was speaking at a meeting of the GFA Committee today which discussed the newly agreed Fresh Start Agreement.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Over the last few months the political institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement were brought to the point of near collapse as a result of British Tory cuts and a contrived political crisis following the brutal murder of two men in Belfast by criminals.
“We believe that the way to protect people and public services from Tory austerity was through working, effective and democratic institutions.
“Sinn Féin approached the talks with four key priorities: Effective working political institutions; a workable budget for the Assembly to protect front line public services and support the most vulnerable in society, including working families; tackling criminality and the continued existence of armed groups; and to ensure that the British and Irish governments lived up to their commitment on dealing with the past.
“The talks agreed a package of positive measures in relation to many of these issues, but the Fresh Start Agreement did not unfortunately include a way forward on the issue of legacy as the British Government chose to invoke the shield of national security to prevent the release of information and disclosure to victims and bereaved families.
“Sinn Féin would not commit to a deal that deviated from the legacy provisions broadly outlined in the Stormont House Agreement and which would be subject to a British state veto, a veto that was triggered to conceal British Government conflict policy and their role as the leading protagonist in the conflict over the last 40 years.
“I raised all these issues with the Minister today and called on the Irish Government to urgently reengage in negotiations with the British Government and all the political parties to seek a conclusive and positive agreement to deal with outstanding legacy issues.”