Friday, August 2, 2019

The Difficulties of Implementing the Good Friday Agreement Essay

The Difficulties of Implementing the Good Friday Agreement The Good Friday Agreement was voted on by a relatively large turnout of 68.8% in 1998 and was rejected by a significant 29% of people in Northern Ireland. For the past six years it has proved to be difficult to implement and there are a number of reasons for this. The emphasis on issues raised in the agreement has changed over the years and some are proving to be more difficult to implement than others. A major area within the Good Friday Agreement is the setting up of an Assembly. Hard line Unionists such as the DUP refuse to accept the Assembly. They refuse to sit at a table with Sinn FÃ ©in in cross party talks while they argue that Sinn FÃ ©in still have links with the IRA. The DUP's mindset has been created by fifty two years of unionist rule. They do not wish to accept principles contained within the agreement which they feel they have already rejected in the 1974 power sharing executive. The DUP are now offering a full re-negotiation of the agreement and their slogan for the last elections was, 'It's time for a new deal.' There are deep divisions within the official unionist party. There is continual disagreement over how many concessions can be made to nationalists. David Trimble the party leader has remained committed to the agreement despite bitter criticism from fellow unionists and himself also feeling uneasy over some elements of it. He has faced leadership challenges and recent defections to the DUP by Geoffrey Donaldson, Arlene Foster and Norah Beare have reduced the number of seats held by the UUP. David Trimble must have ... to have it raised again. The flying of paramilitary flags particularly around the marching season upsets and provokes nationalists who feel threatened by such and obvious display of paramilitary strength. The agreement could now be said to be more difficult to implement than before due to the recent election results. The middle ground lost out while extremists at the opposite end of the political spectrum gained votes. The DUP have a majority of 33 seats and Sinn FÃ ©in has 27. This perhaps suggests that more moderate voters have become disillusioned and no longer believe in the capabilities of their politicians to do their job. There could be a feeling of apathy towards the peace process. However this does not mean that peace is not obtainable in Northern Irelandand with hard work and co-operation it is achievable.

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