Potential of Good Friday Agreement must be unlocked and built on – McDonald
Speaking on the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said:
“The Good Friday Agreement delivered peace and fundamentally changed relationships across the island and with Britain.
“The Agreement is premised on power sharing, equality and the potential for peaceful and democratic constitutional change.
“The people endorsed the agreement by a vast majority. It became the people’s agreement. The two governments were to act as co-equal joint guarantors; to protect and implement the agreements in full.
“The Good Friday Agreement and its institutions are being undermined by the actions of an irresponsible British Government and a reckless DUP.
“We are at a defining point for the Good Friday Agreement. There are those who want to abandon it, I believe we must build on it.
"Twenty one years from the Good Friday Agreement it is now time to discuss the future of the entire island together. The hopes and promise of 1998 now rests in the hands of this generation. It is our responsibility to realise the democratic will of the people.
“The Agreement provides the way forward, the establishment of truly power-sharing institutions, respect for the rights of all citizens and the promotion of reconciliation. We can build a new and prosperous Ireland a place for all our people, a place at peace with itself and with its past.
“It is an international agreement between two sovereign governments; both governments are co-equal and joint guarantors of the people’s vote of 1998 and of the people’s agreement. It must be honoured and implemented in all its parts.
“The Agreement provides for a British Irish Intergovernmental Conference. That body must meet as a matter of urgency to map the forward within the context of the Good Friday Agreement.
“Now more than ever we need to unlock the potential of the agreements to resolve the disputes of today and to plan for tomorrow.”