“Alliance did not fully endorse the so-called Fresh Start Agreement, mainly due to its inability to comprehensively deal with the needs of victims and their families. Instead it was used for self-praise by the DUP and Sinn Fein. One year on, victims remain without resolution and yet the Executive continues to pretend this deal was ground-breaking.
“Fresh Start was a short-term fix to enable another limp down the road until another crisis, instead of being what it should have been – a deal to resolve the blockages and place Northern Ireland’s future on as secure a footing as possible. Since it has been signed, we have seen the DUP refuse to even discuss changing the petition of concern veto and happily pose alongside self-confessed paramilitary commanders, at the same time as the UK Government branded their action plan on paramilitarism as without enough detail to secure funding.
“The patchwork so-called Fresh Start deal helped save devolution from collapse in the short-term but long-term it will not place the institutions on a sustainable basis, never mind offer the true fresh start Northern Ireland needs.”