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Seamus Heaney Good Friday Agreement

“Therefore, in the spirit of harmony, we strongly recommend that people, north and south, agree.” The power-sharing between nationalists and unionists collapsed. Sinn Féin wants a referendum on Irish unification, while the Democratic Unionist Party is trying to unravel the membership of the European Union that is entering the peace process. The Good Friday Agreement, signed last week 21 years ago, is wilting. I have already mentioned that they have both been criticized for their moderate and inclusive approach. There was so much fear and mistrust that it became difficult for many to believe in the good intentions of the other party. The adoption of an inclusive strategy implies a deliberate break with mistrust, a contempt for fear. This is precisely the strategy of reconciliation. There are undoubtedly situations where it is naïve to believe in the good faith of the other party. Doing this can be risky. But a genuine peace process needs people who are willing to take that risk. We need the brave people – or, if you prefer, the gullible – ready to reach out. It is surprising to see what disarming effect innocence can sometimes have on the other party.

The center shows videos of Prince Charles, Stephen Fry, Bono and others reciting poems by Heaney. Bill Clinton recites a segment of The Cure at Troy, a poem frequently cited in the splendor of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement: Stephen Dornan, editor of Irish Pages Ulster Scots of Newtownards, Co Down, was only 20 years old at the time of the agreement. He studied in Scotland and doesn`t remember for sure if he voted, but if he had, it would have been no. And that`s what the architects of the Good Friday Agreement tried to do to create a better future for Northern Ireland. They have devised a comprehensive and far-reaching agreement to find solutions to all of Northern Ireland`s problems. Together, they have put in place an agreement that recognizes itself by its ambitious breadth and comprehensiveness – an agreement that remains our star after 20 years. All of us who have experience in the peace process in Northern Ireland know that the reconciliation project will take several generations. However, the speed at which it is progressing is inseparable from the state of politics in Northern Ireland. If political parties are not able to model good practices of partnership and mutual respect, what are the prospects for promoting reconciliation in local communities? We all know that there are still big problems and that the new constitutional basis for the peaceful resolution of conflicts is fragile. Just this autumn, we witnessed terrorist attacks that left several people dead. But it seems that these were isolated events and that they only served to reinforce the general demand to build on the foundations for peaceful solutions laid down in the Good Friday Agreement. The IRA ceasefire, an important condition for progress towards peace, remains in force.

So, although we are aware that things can change quickly in our troubled world, the situation has been different since Good Friday this year. The vicious circle of violence is broken. The peace process has put in place a particular dynamic, which makes it unlikely that previous conditions of terror will return, even if we have to prepare for minor setbacks if the process continues. In addition to leadership, we need institutional guarantees,” said Sissela Bok. The Good Friday Agreement offers institutional guarantees. It is neither a material agreement. Unionists are still unionists and nationalists are still nationalists. . .

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