The Peace Process Cannot Survive British And Unionist Animosity Or Dishonesty

When Martin McGuinness resigned as the deputy first minister in the power-sharing executive at Stormont, he blamed not only the malfeasance and bigotry of the Democratic Unionist Party but also the lack of commitment by several recent governments in the United Kingdom to the ongoing Irish-British peace process. The failure of the DUP to adhere to the principles of the conflict-ending Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of 1998 came as no surprise, as did the eventual breaking point both for Sinn Féin and the northern nationalist community in general. However the determination of some politicians and journalists in London to turn a peace based upon a series of negotiated compromises by all sides into some sort of  backdoor “victory” has also had its own corrosive effect, gradually but surely wearing away at the underpinnings of the GFA.

Though the authorities in Britain have tried to pass the buck on some “devolved matters” delegated to the regional administration in Stormont there were any number of key equality issues that London could have ameliorated. Not least of these was the issue of Irish language rights, which the UK is supposedly pledged to recognise and promote under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML), adopted in 1992 under the auspices of the Council of Europe. However, rather than fulfilling its obligations under the peace settlement of the late 1990s, Britain continued a policy of discriminating against those speaking the indigenous language of Ireland. A recent report by Irish Legal News illustrates one of the reasons why the cross-community pact in the Six Counties has now collapsed:

“Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced plans to challenge laws preventing the use of the Irish language in Northern Ireland courts.

Mr Ó Muilleoir has confirmed that he has instructed counsel on his intention to challenge the penal provision in the Administration of Justice (Language) Act (Ireland) 1737.

Under the provisions of the Act, court proceedings in Northern Ireland must be carried out in English.

Similar pieces of legislation introduced for England and Scotland in 1731, and Wales in 1733, were repealed in 1863.”

The banning of the Irish language from the UK-administered courts in the north-east of Ireland in the 21st century, when similar anti-Celtic prohibitions were lifted across the United Kingdom in the 19th century, says much about the utter failure of three decades of peace to bring real progress and equality to what is still, in form and function, a British colony on this island nation.

The proof of unionist intransigence and duplicity can be heard in this extraordinary and blatantly deceitful radio interview with senior DUP politician and former regional minister, Edwin Poots.

 

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9 comments

  1. Tom Barry and Dan Breen Irish Patriots summed it all up Britain get out of Ireland, Politics of talking never got anywhere with the Brits.

  2. Republicans (who Sinn Fein have ridiculed as terrorists,criminals and micro groups) predicted the “peace process” and Stormont would go nowhere many years ago. The term cul-de-sac is often used by republicans to describe where Shinners have foolishly found themselves. So,fresh elections March 2. Then what…?

    1. Phoenix :

      You continue to prove with every post that you have nothing to offer Nationalists – except to abuse those who have a mandate from the people.

      Your inability to challenge “WorldByStorm”‘s excellent piece on the previous thread says it all as you have nothing to offer.

  3. Un-fucking-believable! This level of argument wouldn’t be acceptable from a 5-year old. GFA unravelling? Seems it was never ravelled, let alone tied-up, in the first place. Now add Hard Brexit, heat gently and stir well … and run for your life?

    1. Unionists are tying themselves up in verbal and intellectual knots before the election campaign proper has even begun. I’ve heard and read worse in the last couple of weeks. Things are likely to get far worse. The DUP knows it doesn’t have an argument or case to make with pro-union voters after the scandals of recent years so it is strongly signalling its intention to appeal to straightforward tribalism to gain votes. No matter the collateral damage.

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