Seamus Heaney Good Friday Agreement
The division of power between nationalists and unionists has collapsed. Sinn Féin wants a referendum on the Irish deal, while the Democratic Union party is trying to unravel membership of the European Union, which is engaged in the peace process. The Good Friday agreement, signed last week 21 years ago, is fading. «The details of the Brexit deal, which could be called the first major law in history, the Unintended Consequences Act, could push two restless political bedmates – the Catholic majority of the Republic of Ireland in the South and the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland – into their arms. On the occasion of the centenary of its first historic declaration of Independence for Great Britain, Ireland could move towards unification, i.e. towards the full independence of the 32 Irish counties, including the six from Northern Ireland. In The American Conservative. On Good Friday this year, an agreement was signed, rightly seen as a breakthrough in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the long-running conflict in Northern Ireland. In the referendum on 25 May, the agreement received the support of a large majority of the population and elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly were held in June, in accordance with the principles set out in the agreement. This fall, irreconcilable former enemies participated together in the meeting. The pendulum swayed anxiously with optimism in pessimism and back, until Senator Mitchell, on a cold and snowy Good Friday afternoon, explained that an agreement had been reached. My date book of April 10, 1998 only shows the flight number and arrival time of a childhood friend who is on a bird-watching trip to the Gulf Coast of Alabama over easter weekend. I have not seen the historic peace agreement.
However, in the coming days and weeks, I wrote newspaper and magazine articles about the agreement, which I included in a record of stories on paper about Ireland that I had kept since the 1980s. In addition, the necessary bodies have been set up in both parts of the island to ensure that human rights and equality commitments are encouraged and continued. In the area of policing, the agreement recognized the need for a fresh start with a police service capable of attracting and maintaining the support of the Community as a whole. The Patten Commission – led by Chris Patten – provided the proposal for this transformation and the establishment of the Northern Ireland Police Service in 2001. In 2006, the St Andrew`s Agreement presented a way to achieve the full transfer of police and judicial powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, and this was duly achieved in 2010. I have already mentioned that they have both been criticized for their moderate and inclusive approach. There was so much fear and mistrust that it became difficult for many to believe in the good intentions of the other party. The adoption of an inclusive strategy implies a deliberate break with mistrust, a disregard for fear. This is precisely the strategy of reconciliation. No doubt there are situations where it is naïve to believe in the good faith of the other party.