ZEPPELIN

You Are Viewing

A Blog Post

Who Was Behind The Good Friday Agreement

In a major compromise, the parties agreed on measures to promote the Irish language, which trade unionists have long opposed to the fear that it will increase nationalist and republican culture to the detriment of their own. In return, the agreement contained provisions to promote Ulster-Scots, traditionally spoken by descendants of Protestants from Scotland to Northern Ireland. Negotiations were also reinforced by commitments in Dublin and London for increased funding for hospitals, schools and other social services in Northern Ireland. The agreement called for the creation of an independent commission to review police rules in Northern Ireland, „including ways to promote broad community support“ for these agreements. The UK government has also pledged to carry out a „large-scale review“ of the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. The participants in the agreement were composed of two sovereign states (the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland), with armed forces and police forces involved in the riots. Two political parties, Sinn Féin and the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), were linked to paramilitary organisations: the IRA (Commissional Irish Republican Army) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), associated with the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), had withdrawn from the talks three months earlier. The agreement was reached between the British and Irish governments as well as eight northern Ireland political parties or groups. Three were representative of unionism: the Ulster Unionist Party, which had led unionism in Ulster since the early 20th century, and two small parties linked to loyalist paramilitaries, the Progressive Unionist Party (linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Democratic Party (the political wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Two of them have been widely described as nationalists: the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin, the Republican party affiliated with the Provisional Republican Army.

[4] [5] Apart from these rival traditions, there were two other assemblies, the Inter-Community Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Women`s Coalition. There was also the Labour coalition. U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell was sent by U.S. President Bill Clinton to chair the talks between parties and groups. [6] The main themes addressed by Sunningdale and dealt with in the Belfast Agreement are the principle of self-determination, the recognition of the two national identities, Anglo-Irish intergovernmental cooperation and legal power-sharing procedures, such as inter-community voting and the D`Hondt system for appointing ministers to the executive. [24] [25] Former IRA member and journalist Tommy McKearney says the main difference is the British government`s intention to negotiate a comprehensive agreement including the IRA and the most intransigent unionists. [26] With regard to the right to self-determination, two qualifications are recorded by the writer Austen Morgan.