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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Kicking a 3 Legged Stool

KICKING THE LEG OF A THREE-LEGGED STOOL. Just over a year ago the government was re-established in the North of Ireland. The US and Irish America widely welcomed the move. The DUP now appears intent on threatening the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. Having failed to provide leadership to a now minority unionist community and under pressure for their handling of the Brexit fiasco, the DUP is acting to destabilize the government.

The Good Friday Agreement provided for three sets of institutions; the Assembly and Executive in the North, the North/South Ministerial Council (all Ireland), and the British Irish Council (a body linking Ireland North and South with Britain). These three sets of institutions are interlinked and interdependent. Like a three-legged stool if one leg is weakened the whole thing falls apart.

The DUP has failed to attend the last two meetings of the North/South Ministerial Council. Due to the rules of the body, this has meant that the meetings could not go ahead. The DUP has claimed that its ministers are too busy to attend. Separately they also have stated that they will disrupt All Ireland working as part of their campaign against the Brexit Irish Protocol.

Speaking on the issue Sinn Féin Minister for the Communities Deirdre Hargey

"The north-south bodies are an integral part of the political institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement.

Properly functioning North-South structures are critical to the successful operation of the Good Friday Agreement framework. Unionist Ministers do not get to cherrypick which meetings or structures they want to participate in, it’s an obligation and must be fulfilled.”

It appears that the DUP is intent on deepening the crisis, undermining the Agreement, and threatening the institutions. The message from Irish America is clear, the Good Friday Agreement must be respected and implemented.

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