Republicanism and the implementation of the agreement : a political perspective ; an academic perspective

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Title: Republicanism and the implementation of the agreement : a political perspective ; an academic perspective
Authors: McGuinness, Martin
Arthur, Paul
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Date: 2005
Abstract: A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE: The current difficulties in the peace process need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Although the two governments claim that the IRA is the only obstacle to a lasting settlement, the reality is otherwise. In December 2004 the DUP walked away from a comprehensive agreement because of their opposition to power sharing and the Good Friday agreement. The answer does not lie in attempts to project republicans as criminals, a failed tactic that has often been attempted in the past. Instead, the causes of political conflict must be tackled, by returning to the core principles of the Good Friday agreement: inclusivity, equality and mutual respect.
AN ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVE: The politicisation of the republican movement was associated with a shift in emphasis from ideological rectitude to the electoral imperative. The movement’s growing political power facilitated it in signing up to the Good Friday agreement in 1998, and this, in turn, allowed Sinn Féin to develop its electoral strength further, to reach a plateau by the end of 2004. Post-agreement republican emphasis on equality and human rights created a new political space, but another stumbling block appeared: the absence of transparency regarding the decommissioning of weapons, followed by allegations of IRA involvement in criminality. These issues, and the perceived link between the IRA and Sinn Féin, have the capacity to destroy the republican political project.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies
Series/Report no.: IBIS Working Papers; 44; Implementing the agreement: towards completion Lecture Series
Copyright (published version): The authors, 2005
Keywords: Good Friday AgreementBelfast AgreementRepublicanismSinn FeinIRA
Subject LCSH: Great Britain. Treaties, etc. Ireland, 1998 Apr. 10
Republicanism--Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland--Politics and government
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: Revised text of two lectures presented as part of the seminar se-ries “Implementing the agreement: towards completion”, organised jointly by Co-operation Ireland and the Institute for British-Irish Studies. The lectures were pre-sented in UCD on 3 February 2005.
Appears in Collections:Institute for British-Irish Studies (IBIS) Working Papers and Policy Papers

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