Republican News · Thursday 24 February 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Implement the Agreement

We're sick of British rule and Unionist vetos

Sinn Féin delegates will gather in conference this weekend in a mood of deep frustration and anger at the latest developments in the Peace Process. The future of the Good Friday Agreement is entirely unclear following the British government's decision to suspend the institutions two weeks ago.

Acting at the behest of the Ulster Unionist Party, the British have binned the Agreement, sending the entire political process into freefall. The political vacuum now developing is dangerous and does not lend itself to progress being made. That vacuum must be filled and filled soon by making politics work.

The British government bears responsibility for the crisis we are now in and while all parties have a responsibility to do all in their power to rescue the situation, the British government has the greatest onus and the best opprtunity to do so.

A meaningless unionist demand over silent guns has been elevated to the status of a complete veto on progress. But that veto must not be allowed override the wishes of the vast majority of our people for peace and progress. The clearest way of restoring confidence, hope and momentum in the peace process is to implement fully the Good Friday Agreement. It is not all that long ago that a massive majority of the Irish people voted in hope for that Agreement. The people of Ireland can rightly claim ownership of this peace process. They voted for full implementation and that means that the institutions, so precipitously collapsed by the British government, must be reinstated. It is to that end that Sinn Féin will direct all its efforts in the days ahead.

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