A Joint Committee on the Good Friday Agreement made up of politicians from every party in the Dáil has called for a renewed effort to complete the work of the Agreement.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Committee Cathaoirleach (Chairman) Deputy Fergus O’Dowd said: “This Easter will mark the 25th anniversary since the successful conclusion of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998. The Agreement was an extraordinary achievement that brought an end to three decades of violence and ushered in a new dawn of stability in Northern Ireland.
“The Agreement however remains under threat despite the fact that the majority of the population from Northern Ireland supported its implementation.
“With that in mind the upcoming anniversary of the Agreement will draw political and community leaders from all sides together and along with the announced visit of the US President will present opportunities that simply must be grasped. The improved relations with the British government represents an opportunity for renewed and strengthened dialogue and constructive outcomes.
“The anniversary provides a moment for reflection on what was achieved and what is still left to be done. The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement has met with the Architects of the Agreement to better understand how the Agreement came to be and what lessons we can learn to inform politics today. I would like to thank the witnesses both for their time and generosity in sharing their experiences with us and for their immense contribution to securing peace on this island.
“Securing peace in Northern Ireland took an enormous degree of conviction, certainty, and determination from its leaders and importantly it removed doubt and hesitation, and provided a platform for people to show a willingness to change. Peace on this island is the result of countless unknowable conversations where people paused, listened, changed their minds, and changed history.
“While we have tried to bring in a wide array of perspectives, this report is by necessity incomplete. The passage of time has meant some of the giants of the Peace Process are no longer with us. A particular debt is due to the contributions of John Hume, David Trimble, Albert Reynolds, Martin McGuinness, David Ervine, and Mo Mowlam.
“Finally, this report is incomplete because peace in Northern Ireland remains a process. While violence has all but ended, this does not in itself amount to peace. This is not the sum total of the promise of the Good Friday Agreement. Some provisions of the Agreement are yet to be implemented while implementation in other areas needs much greater focus and determination to progress. Fundamentally, this report is a rallying cry for a renewed commitment to mediation and reconciliation.”