25 July 2018
British-Irish Intergovernmental conference meets in London
"Joint stewardship through the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference amounts to an honest and responsible effort to protect and advance the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement framework." - Michelle O'Neill
The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference met today in London today for the first time in ten years.
The body involves ministers from both the British and Irish governments meeting to discuss a range of issues was created by the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
The conference has not met since 2007, shortly before the return of the political institutions in the north when Sinn Féin and the DUP agreed to share power.
Sinn Féin have been calling for a meeting of the conference to be convened ever since the DUP collapsed talks designed to reestablish an Executive in February.
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O'Neill welcomed today's meeting, describing it as an "important step" towards power sharing.
“Today’s conference of both the Irish and British Governments is an important step to help remove the obstacles to genuine power-sharing and for London and Dublin to fulfil their own obligations in respect to the Good Friday Agreement, the Stormont House Agreement and other outstanding matters relating to citizens' rights, legacy matters and All-Ireland co-operation.
“In the absence of the Assembly and Executive at this time, the choice is between the protection of the Good Friday Agreement which is under constant attack, by the hard Brexiteers within the DUP and Tory party, or its abandonment.
“We have made clear that for Irish nationalism any return to British direct rule would represent its abandonment and is therefore unacceptable.
Michelle O'Neill said both the British and Irish governments have a responsibility to ensure the Good Friday Agreement is implemented.
“Together both governments have a clear duty under the Good Friday Agreement to make determined efforts to support the re-establishment of the institutions.
“Joint stewardship through the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference amounts to an honest and responsible effort to protect and advance the full potential of the Good Friday Agreement framework.
“The conference allows both governments to co-operate at all levels on all matters and despite the fact they allowed it to lapse, having not met since 2007, we welcome today’s meeting and the fact the Governments themselves are getting back on board with this process," she said.
An Phoblacht Magazine
AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:
- Don't miss your chance to get the first edition of 2019 published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of An Chéad Dáil and Soloheadbeg.
- In this edition Gerry Adams sets out the case for active abstentionism, Mícheál Mac Donncha takes us back to January 21st 1919, that fateful day after which here was no going back and Aengus Ó Snodaigh gives an account of the IRA attack carried out on the same day of the First Dáil, something that was to have a profound effect on the course of Irish history.
- There are also articles about the aftermath of the 8th amendment campaign, the Rise of the Right and the civil rights movement.
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An initiative for dialogue
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures