Governments accused of abandoning Northern Ireland peace process
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin says Enda Kenny fails to recognize crisis
The Irish and British governments have been accused of abandoning the Northern Ireland peace process by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
He has claimed that Irish PM Enda Kenny needs to recognise the ‘crisis’ in the peace process and take action before he risks consequences ‘worse than already feared’.
Martin made the remarks at Fianna Fail’s annual Wolfe Tone commemoration at the Bodenstown graveyard when the rebel leader is buried.
The Irish Independent reports that the Cork deputy told the commemoration that Kenny’s coalition government had failed to respond to a rise in sectarian rows, escalating tensions and a collapse of faith in institutions set up by the Good Friday Agreement.
He said “What has been missing is any serious engagement by either the Dublin or London government.
“They have been complacent and disinterested. Particularly damaging is how the entire issue of development through North/South co-operation has been ignored.”
The report adds that Martin criticised a recent development plan for Northern Ireland which ‘makes no mention of the Republic’.
He also criticised Fine Gael leader Kenny for not attending a major investment conference in Belfast.
Martin said: “Worst of all it is how vital North/South infrastructure projects such as the Narrow-Water Bridge are being abandoned because of a lack of commitment from the governments.
“The economic and social development of this island, and of the Border region in particular, demands strong North/South co-operation.”
Martin also argued that ‘historic progress for peace and reconciliation on the island’ could not have been possible without the priority which different Irish leaders gave to it.
He said: “Formal meetings and dinners aren’t enough – you have to spend the time developing links and building trust.
“The current Taoiseach (PM) needs to start giving it his attention or the consequences may be much greater than we already fear.”
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