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Statement by Minister Flanagan regarding the passing of the deadline for formation of NI Executive

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Northern Ireland, 2017

 

Statement by Minister Flanagan regarding the passing of the deadline for the formation of the Northern Ireland Executive

Speaking after this afternoon’s deadline for the formation of a new Northern Ireland Executive, Minister Flanagan said:

“Despite three weeks of intensive engagement, in which I and my officials have actively participated, I deeply regret that it has not proven possible for the political parties in Northern Ireland to reach agreement on the establishment of a power-sharing Executive. I have had further discussions today with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire, and I understand that he will make a full statement on the matter in Westminster tomorrow.

I am extremely disappointed by these developments.

"I emphasise that the Good Friday Agreement remains the agreed template for the political process in Northern Ireland. The Irish Government is fully committed to ensuring that its principles and provisions are fully respected. In this regard, we will be consulting very closely with the British Government in the days and weeks ahead and I will remain in close touch with the Secretary of State."

"The absence of agreement on the establishment of an Executive is, for many reasons, deeply regrettable. However, it is particularly concerning that a vacuum in devolved government in Northern Ireland should now be occurring just as the island of Ireland faces up to the many serious challenges represented by the UK exit from the EU. In these circumstances, all concerned must redouble efforts to achieve the re-establishment of power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, which is so plainly in the interests of all its citizens."

"The Irish Government will continue to advocate very strongly for Northern Ireland's interests to be protected.  However, there is no substitute for an Executive speaking with one voice on these critical issues."

"During the course of the last three weeks some encouraging progress was made on a number of issues, not least on the question of dealing with the painful legacy of the past. I am very conscious that victims and survivors are long overdue some evidence of delivery on these matters. Both Governments must now reflect on how, in the current political context, we best advance the implementation of the legacy framework envisaged under the Stormont House Agreement."

"19 years ago, the Good Friday Agreement was achieved after great commitment, courage and compromise. As we approach Easter, all of those involved in the recent talks must pause to reflect on what needs to be done so that the current impasse can be resolved at the earliest possible opportunity. I firmly believe that the Northern Ireland parties want to see the devolved institutions back up and running. The only route to that goal is through continued respectful dialogue that recognises the need for both honouring previous commitments and for honourable compromise."

"The Irish Government remains steadfast in its commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to protecting and advancing the peace and prosperity of the people of this island.  We will continue to work with the Northern Ireland parties and to engage with the British Government to secure those objectives.”

 

ENDS

Press Office

27 March 2017