Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal Martin Kenny has today said that progressive forces, North and South, have a responsibility now to stand up for the Good Friday Agreement, and recognise that the peace process is not over but it is an ongoing development.
Teachta Kenny said:
“As a representative of a border constituency, I am very conscious of the effect of what happens in the North on all of Ireland.
“There is a lot of media discourse following the announcement that Arlene Foster will no longer be leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. Commentary of a swing to the right in Northern politics, and the implication that the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, are now somehow up for discussion. This is not the case.
“The Good Friday Agreement is the only show in town. It has served us all well, but the reality is that in the 23 years of its existence, Unionists parties have worked against it at every opportunity in the Northern institutions.
“They have tried to delay, hinder and frustrate the introduction of many of the equality, justice and legacy changes promised by the GFA and other agreements after it.
“The Unionist agenda now is being driven by fear of the change that they know is coming. However, change is hard and we all have to work to achieve it for the common good and not engage in backtracking on the democratic changes which have taken place.
“The choice now is between the progressive parties and forces that want to deliver on the promise of the GFA and the regressive parties and forces that want to restore a version of the failed past.
“Democratic change must be defended and constitutional change must be arrived at peacefully and democratically. It is the responsibility of all parties to the GFA and the responsibility of progressive forces North and South to defend the agreement and the changes which have happened, and those necessary to take place in the future.”