Essay about The Difficulties of Implementing the Good Friday Agreement

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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 Féin in cross…show more content…
Another contentious issue has been the formation of a North/South council. Some unionists view this as a step towards a United Ireland. They reject the south having any say in how the north is run. They view it as a step back towards other agreements that had a southern element to them, like the Sunningdale and Anglo Irish Agreements as well as the Downing Street Declaration of 1993. Their attitude is that if it didn't work then, why should it work now? As part of the agreement the Irish Republic had to remove articles 2 and 3 from its constitution. These laid claim to the six counties of Northern Ireland and did not recognise the border. An overwhelming majority of 93% of voters in the republic accepted the agreement. Hard line republicans resented the removal of these articles and their opposition was demonstrated on the 15th August 1998 when the Real IRA detonated a bomb in Omagh in which 29 people as well as two unborn children were killed. This was proof enough for both unionists and nationalists that republicans had not changed their tactics and therefore could not be trusted. It has been hard for Gerry Adams as the leader of Sinn Féin to move on from this while still keeping the support of as many nationalists as possible. Another part of the agreement was a review of policing in Northern Ireland. Chris Patten and the Independent Commission

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