March 29, 2023
Chris MacManus MEP marks 25 years of European support for the Good Friday Agreement

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus this evening praised the European Institutions for putting the protection of the Good Friday Agreement front and centre for the past 25 years.

MacManus was speaking as he hosted an event in the European Parliament, alongside fellow Irish MEPs Barry Andrews, Ciarán Cuffe and Seán Kelly, to celebrate the legacy of reconciliation, and the cultural and sporting successes enjoyed as a result.

This evening’s symposium featured contributions from community and sporting leaders from Ireland who travelled to Brussels to attend the event.

Speaking this evening, MacManus said:

“The Good Friday Agreement is a precious one. This historic agreement brought to an end the most protracted armed conflict in Europe, recognising the existence of different political objectives – maintaining the link with Britain or the pursuit of Irish unity. 

“It created a framework for the pursuit of these political objectives through peaceful and democratic means and ensured that it is for the people of Ireland – by majority vote north and south – to decide on the future constitutional status of the North of Ireland. 

“It mapped a tentative peace and made it lasting, and did so without eroding identity. It asked more of us all.

“It put in place a new constitutional framework in the North of Ireland, along with a peace process, and a political process, that would finally guarantee equality, justice and human rights. 

“We must never forget the pain and suffering this conflict inflicted upon so many families. My own family unfortunately, like many others, knows only too well that very real pain. 

“The Good Friday Agreement came with us, and many other families, on an important journey of Forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation. 

“The sense of loss never subsides, but the sense of pain does. The Good Friday Agreement prevented such tragedy and loss visiting other families. For me that is something worth fighting to protect.

“Having that first-hand understanding of  the vital importance of the Good Friday Agreement, I made it my priority from day one of becoming an MEP to protect it from the very worst impacts of Brexit. 

“At every point throughout Brexit negotiations, myself and my colleagues from across the European Union have always put the protection of the Good Friday Agreement front and centre. 

“The European Institutions have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Good Friday Agreement – in all its parts – on numerous occasions. 

“I have no doubt that our friends across Europe will play an equally important role in the next 25 years as a new chapter of the Good Friday Agreement unfolds. 

“I thank my MEP colleagues, Barry Andrews, Ciarán Cuffe and Seán Kelly for working with Sinn Féin to put together this evening’s event.

“This sent a clear message that all Irish political parties represented in the European Parliament are not only proud of the historic achievement, but we will fight tooth and nail to protect it.”

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