Irish President Michael D Higgins has praised Ulster’s politicians as they try to continue the work of the Good Friday Agreement – but warned there are still problems ahead.
The President made his remarks to members of the Northern Ireland Legislative authority, a cross-border parliamentary group.
Welcoming the politicians from all sides of the divide and both sides of the border to a garden party at his Dublin residence, the President spoke of the ongoing peace process.
The TheJournal.ie website reports that President Higgins said: “There are no easy solutions to the problems facing Northern Ireland.”
He added: “Issues such as collective identity, symbols, and the painful legacy of a fractured past are ongoing.
“However the work of politics is ongoing, more replete with possibilities than difficulties.
“We should rejoice in the length of road already traveled towards permanent and constructive peace in Northern Ireland.
“I commend you on your work together and for managing to give life and substance to the North-South Inter-Parliamentary Association, the establishment of which had been envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement.”
President Higgins also referred to his recent state visit to Britain as a guest of Queen Elizabeth.
He added: “It was an honor for me to be able to address both Houses of Parliament at Westminster.
“To be thus invited to speak to an institution which, over the centuries, has enabled the British people to gradually find their full democratic voice, was a very moving experience.
“It was inspiring to stand in a place where, for more than a century, many hundreds of dedicated parliamentarians, in their different, and often in the fullness of their dissonant ways, represented the diverse interests and aspirations of the Irish people.”
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