Minister Flanagan on 10th anniversary of the restoration of devolved government8/5/17
Statement by Minister Flanagan to mark the 10th anniversary of the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland
"Today, 8 May, marks the 10th anniversary of the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland.
"This was a most significant moment in the peace process founded on the Good Friday Agreement. It is an achievement that can be recalled today with a sense of satisfaction by all who played a part.
"The formation of a multi-party power-sharing Executive headed by the late Dr. Ian Paisley and the late Martin McGuinness as First and deputy First Ministers, required determination and leadership by all of the political parties and was achieved with intensive support by both Governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.
"Restoration brought to an end a period of several years of direct rule in Northern Ireland, and allowed the more representative, power-sharing Executive to govern in Northern Ireland, accountable to the Assembly and to the people.
"Significantly also, restoration opened the way for a resumption of the essential work of the North South Ministerial Council, where both administrations on the island come together to address all-island matters in a structured and pragmatic way, with benefits for people across the island.
"In the ten years since restoration, all parties to the peace process have had to work through a number of difficult challenges and testing moments. It is all the more important, then, that the cumulative achievement of that decade of devolved and representative government for Northern Ireland be acknowledged. Over the last decade, the devolved institutions of the Good Friday Agreement have delivered significant and lasting steps forward for Northern Ireland and its people. These include the devolution of justice and policing powers from Westminster to Stormont in 2010.
"Recalling today the achievement and the value of restoration ten years ago should encourage all with responsibility now to ensure that agreement is reached in the political talks’ process that will resume at Stormont after 8 June, thereby allowing for the formation of a new power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland. The Irish Government will continue to play its part, working with the British Government and each of the political parties, to support the formation of an Executive that operates on the basis of partnership and equality and delivers good government for all the citizens of Northern Ireland."
08 May 2017