April 25, 2023
President Biden visit has refocused international attention on Ireland – Kearney

Writing in An Phoblacht today Sinn Féin National Cathaoirleach Declan Kearney has said that the recent visit by US President Joe Biden had refocused international attention on Ireland.

And he welcomed the President’s message that power sharing needs to be restored and he called on the DUP to make up its mind to re-enter the Executive

Read the full blog here: anphoblacht.com/contents/28508

The South Antrim MLA said:

“The visit to Ireland by President Joe Biden was highly significant. It refocused international attention on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

“President Biden’s message on his visit was very clear; power sharing needs to be restored; the British and Irish governments must be fully engaged together as co-guarantors of the GFA; and if this happens, new economic opportunities beckon.”

Declan Kearney paid tribute to the organisers of the Agreement 25 conference at Queen’s University, and he described the contribution by Senator George Mitchell as a ‘tour de force’.

He said:

“The event put a strategic and political lens on the history of the GFA, and most importantly, looked forward.

“The essential role of the EU was given its place. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen received a standing ovation when she spoke on Wednesday – making clear that the EU would remain fully involved with the peace process. 

“But it was Senator George Mitchell who set the tone for the conference with a tour de force speech. He looked towards the future with inimitable wisdom and clarity. His words were a master class in spoken diplomacy, and a clear illustration why he was the keystone for the achievement of the GFA 25 years ago.

“This conference inspired hope and optimism, and a conviction in what is yet possible for the future.”

The South Antrim MLA called on the DUP to make its mind up quickly on returning to the Executive. He said:

“If the DUP needs a little more time to pull itself out of its self-inflicted abyss, that is open to reasonable consideration. 

“But time is running out. People are suffering because of the cost-of-living crisis. Public services in the north are at breaking point. The health service is on its knees.

“In the absence of an Executive the Tories are proposing to impose a budget in the north which senior civil servants both past and present are forecasting will cause irreparable damage.

“So the DUP needs to make its mind up… and fast. 

“Last week brought centre stage the historic role of both the US and EU in helping bring the peace process to this point. In the time ahead they will have a critical role in guaranteeing international law and maintaining the democratic integrity of the GFA.

“The peace process and managing future constitutional change in Ireland will continue to rely upon their, and other international partners’ strategic support and goodwill.” 

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