19 Apr 2022


The main issues left out by Sunningdale and addressed in the Belfast Agreement are the principle of self-determination, the recognition of both national identities, British-Irish intergovernmental cooperation and legal procedures to make power-sharing compulsory, 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 deal involving the IRA and the most intransigent trade unionists. [26] With respect to the right to self-determination, two limitations are noted by legal writer Austen Morgan. Firstly, the transfer of territory from one State to another must be done through international agreements between the British and Irish Governments. Secondly, the people of Northern Ireland can no longer achieve a united Ireland alone; they need not only the Irish Government, but also the people of their Irish neighbour to support unity. Morgan also pointed out that, unlike the Ireland Act 1949 and the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973, which were drafted under Sunningdale, the 1998 Agreement and the resulting UK legislation expressly provided for the possibility of a united Ireland. [27] In August, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, linked to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), announced a ceasefire and an end to its 23 years of violence. Nevertheless, the group continued to oppose the peace agreement signed in April.5 The ceasefire was maintained for the rest of the year. The overall result of these problems was to damage unionists` confidence in the deal, which was exploited by the anti-deal DUP, which eventually overtook the pro-deal Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in the 2003 general election. The UUP had already resigned from power-sharing in 2002 after the Stormontgate scandal, in which three men were accused of gathering information. These charges were eventually dropped in 2005 on the controversial grounds that the persecution was not “in the public interest”. Immediately afterwards, one of the accused Sinn Féin members, Denis Donaldson, was denounced as a British agent. In 2004, negotiations took place between the two governments, the DUP and Sinn Féin on an agreement to restore the institutions.

These talks failed, but a document published by governments detailing changes to the Belfast Agreement became known as the “Global Agreement”. However, on 26 September 2005, it was announced that the Provisional Irish Republican Army had completely decommissioned and “decommissioned” its arsenal. Nevertheless, many trade unionists, especially the DUP, remained sceptical. Of the loyalist paramilitaries, only the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had decommissioned weapons. [21] Further negotiations took place in October 2006 for the St Andrews Agreement. Throughout the year, the main paramilitary groups on both sides respected the ceasefire. A dissident group critical of the regime, the Ira Continuity, went up in flames on July 7. In February 2000, a bomb was planted at Mahon`s Hotel in Irvinestown.1 Dissident groups opposed to the peace agreement threatened peace in Northern Ireland.2 1. This agreement provides for a democratically elected assembly in Northern Ireland, inclusive in its members, capable of exercising executive and legislative power, and subject to safeguards to protect the rights and interests of all parts of the community. The principle of power-sharing was incorporated into the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The DÕHondt method of proportional representation has been used to ensure that the unionist (mainly Protestant) and nationalist (mainly Catholic) communities participate in government in relation to the seats they win in the new Northern Ireland Assembly. The members of the assembly were elected with a single transferable vote. If the main parties did not reach an agreement on power-sharing, power would return to London, a situation that neither side wanted. The multi-party agreement is an agreement between the British Government, the Irish Government and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland. It sets out the support of the signatory parties to the British-Irish Agreement and provides the framework for various political institutions. It is divided into three parts: the British-Irish agreement is an agreement between the British and Irish governments. The agreement was binding on the various institutions set out in the multi-party agreement. It also sets out the common position of the two governments on the current and future status of Northern Ireland. As part of the agreement, the newly created Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Parliament of Ireland (the Oireachtas) agreed to consider the establishment of a joint parliamentary forum composed of equal parts of both institutions. In October 2012, this forum was founded as a North/South interparliamentary association. The agreement was approved by voters across the island of Ireland in two referendums on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland, in the 1998 referendum on the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, voters were asked if they supported the multi-party agreement.

In the Republic of Ireland, voters were asked whether they would allow the state to sign the agreement and allow the necessary constitutional amendments (Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Ireland) to facilitate it. .

Comments are closed.