Farry says there is need to rediscover the meaning of the Good Friday Agreement as we approach anniversary

There is a need to “rediscover the meaning” of the Good Friday Agreement as we approach its 20th anniversary, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry has said.

Dr Farry made the statement in a submission from Alliance to the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, as part of its inquiry into devolution and democracy here. He said a number of participants in the current political impasse were failing to understand the importance of interconnected relationships in the Agreement.

“Northern Ireland as a divided society and contested space can only be governed successfully through a shared approach which recognises and respects diversity, while promoting greater levels of cohesion, integration and reconciliation.

“However, there appears to be an increasing misunderstanding of the nature of and commitments arising from the Good Friday Agreement, which is problematic in terms of creating that shared approach. There is an importance of rediscovering the meaning of the Agreement in this, its 20th anniversary year.

“That is being exhibited by a range of actors across the political spectrum, including at leadership and Governmental levels, with the UK Government, as an example, only meaningfully engaging with one party around Brexit, despite the implications for all of Northern Ireland and the UK.

“That needs to change. In its anniversary year, the Good Friday Agreement is more important than ever and its success relies on every one of us showing it respect and understanding its significance in creating the united community we all desire.”

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