Progress Made Since Good Friday Agreement 'Must Be Protected' - SF

Progress made across Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement must be protected and built upon post-Brexit, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said.

Speaking ahead of a Dáil debate on the proposed Brexit Draft Withdrawal agreement, Deputy McDonald, said: "Over the past twenty years, our island has changed beyond recognition.

"Children born today - in Belfast, in Cork, in Derry, in Galway, or here in Dublin - are born to a society which is now more prosperous, more open and more tolerant.

"There have been ups and downs, setbacks and knocks along the way, but the trajectory has been constant - we have moved - and we are moving - forward.

"But, there is a problem and that problem is Brexit.

"Our island's progress and our island's future - did not feature as part of the debate surrounding the Brexit referendum; which was held let's face it - primarily because of a squabble amongst the Tories.

"We first put the case for a special deal that would take cognisance of the unique circumstances that present themselves here on our island.

"We have brought our view to Europe, to the Irish government and to the British government consistently over the past year and a half.

"When we first articulated a policy of 'special status' for the north, some of the parties here accused us of grandstanding and said it was 'unrealistic'.

"It has since become the agreed EU position in negotiations. I welcome that and acknowledge the shift in the government's position. I think we have made an impact in that regard.

"We want that as the final outcome and that should be the position of everybody and every party on the island. We want to avert the imposition of hard border. We want to ensure citizens' rights are protected.

"We want to ensure that the hard won gains and progress of past twenty years are protected, and built upon."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 September 2012
Met Éireann Confirms Wettest August Since 1997
Rainfall was below average along western and northern coasts and in parts of the East, with the percentage of average values ranging from 73% at Newport to 225% at Johnstown Castle, its wettest August since 1997, according to data from Met Éireann.
09 November 2012
Employees Go Back To Work Following Protest
Workers have gone back to work after holding a protest outside the Great Island power station in County Wexford. Over 60 employees took part in the protest over the possibility that some of them would be replaced by a Spanish scaffolding contractor. However, an agreement was made in a meeting yesterday and the workers returned this morning.
04 November 2011
Tourist's Body Located
The body of a man who fell from a cliff in County Mayo yesterday has been recovered. The Finnish man is said to have been visiting Ireland and had taken a trip to Achill Island later going missing. It is now understood that the tourist fell from a cliff at Cloughmore yesterday afternoon.
02 July 2012
Progress Made Towards Adoption Agreement With Vietnam
Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has welcomed the discussions which have taken place between senior officials from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Adoption Authority of Ireland leading to agreement on the contents of the final administrative arrangements for the resumption of adoptions between Ireland and V
16 June 2011
Progress Reported On Croke Park Agreement
The Irish Public Expenditure Minister has published the First Progress Report of the Implementation Body of the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014, also known as the ‘Croke Park Agreement’.