Next week will see the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, described recently by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as ‘the single most important political agreement in our time’.
In his speech to the Dublin Commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising, Martin McGuinness speaks of the Agreement as a turning point in Irish history, and resulting in a period in which republican objectives can be realised. He also warns against complacency and of the threats posed to the Good Friday Agreement by those who oppose equality and change.
Situating today's struggle for a united Ireland in the context of the revolutionary struggle of 1916 which ‘started a bush fire of decolonisation, which engulfed the British Empire', he spoke of the inspiration it inspired in ‘generations of people throughout the world who rose up against colonial rule'.
By Frances Davis
Sinn Féin have correctly condemned attempts of anti-Good Friday Agreement unionists to push through an anti-peace process bill in Stormont this week – and hit out at the fact that the latest stage of the bill’s progress was backed by the SDLP.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness commented: ‘by supporting TUV legislation against former prisoners the SDLP have thrown the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement out of Stormont’s windows’.
The following article by Gerry Adams explaining the context of the sectarian attacks in Belfast, appeared on the Léargas blog on 12 January.
Belfast 2013 is not the City I grew up in. In my youth and for much of my adult life Belfast was a place in which nationalists had no rights; a place where sectarianism and discrimination, injustice and inequality were commonplace and exercised as a matter of institutional and political practice.
By Frances Davis
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly was correct this week to give a stark warning that the ongoing loyalist sectarian protests, violence and intimidation could lead to somebody being killed. His demand that the violence must end and that, moreover, unionist politicians must ‘use all of their influence to see they are brought to an end’ should be strongly supported.
There should also be strong support for Belfast City Council’s decision to move to fly the Union flag on designated days and not all year round, and those councillors who backed that.
Sinn Féin has recently launched a public initiative on the need for a process of national reconciliation in Ireland.Addressing a meeting in the Houses of Commons on 24 October Sinn Féin chairperson, Declan Kearney explained the initiative. His speech included the following points:
Irish Senator Kathryn Reilly addressed the Progressive Students Conference on 13 October. Her speech, setting out Sinn Féin’s alternative to austerity, included the following points:
National reconciliation in Ireland - the need for uncomfortable conversations
7pm Wednesday 24 OctoberGrand Committee Room House of Commons London
Support for Sinn Féin continues to grow in the southern Irish state. In a poll commissioned for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times Sinn Féin is now standing at 25%, making it the second most popular party, with Gerry Adams now the most popular party leader in the country.
8pm Tuesday 28 February
Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1(Westminster Tube)
Speakers:Mary Lou McDonald TD, Vice President Sinn FéinPat Doherty MP.
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