Government Change in 2005 ?

Ryle Dwyer in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner takes a frank look at the role played by politicians in the Republic in respect of attitudes to partition, northern politics and the British Government. Sunningdale’s history lessons still have warnings for slow learners.

  • Keith M

    I know it must be difficult to get jounalists to work over the holiday period but is that really any excuse for dragging out this acticle which was probably written and spiked five years ago, when there was still a slim chance that the Belfast Agreement might work.

    This is 2005 and the Belfast Agreement has been consigned to the dustbin of history in the same way as the Sunningdale Agreement, the Anglo-Irish Agremment etc, were. Just like the Sunningdale Agreement on issues like power-sharing and the right of the people of Northern Ireland to determine their own political future, elements of the Belfast Agreement have lived on. From the Anglo-Irish Agreement we still have the recognised role for the Republic’s government in working with the UK government on Northern Irish issues.

    The REAL slow learners in 2005, are those who do not recognise today’s political reality, those who persist in the notion that the Belfast Agreement is still in operation, for it is they who did not learn the basic lesson of the failure of Sunningdale; that any agreement needs to enjoy equal levels of support in both communities. In that respect Sunningdale and the 1998 agreement had all too much in common. If anyone wants confirmation, they simply need to look at one line from this articele “The anti-agreement unionists exploited the uncertainty by railing against Sunningdale and winning 11 of the 12 unionist seats in the North.”. Come May 2005, would anyone bet against a similar headline? In the words of my favourite Eurovision Song Contest winner “the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself”.

  • Visioner


    Are you living in the real world?

    The DUP have not consigned the Belfast Agreement to the dustbin. Where is this new agreement? For all I can see is a series of amendments?

    For Peter Robinson said recently that the DUP where told they could not amend the Belfast Agreement in 2003 but they have. But he didn’t say that the DUP had produced a ‘new’ deal, but merely amended it.

    The reality is that the DUP have signed up to the Belfast Agreement along with everyone else – apart from the UKUP.

    As far as Sinn Fein and the SDLP are concerned(apart from a few compliants) the Agreement of 1998 is still in existence.

    I don’t hear the Alliance Party talking of a new Agreement.? Do you?

    Also if there is a new agreement – I haven’t received a copy of it through my door by post.

    So where is it?

    The DUP can do all they want to cover this up – even attempt change its name in order to cover the eyes of the voters! But the Belfast Agreement lives on and the DUP have signed up to it.

  • AndrewD

    “In that respect Sunningdale and the 1998 agreement had all too much in common.”

    How is the DUP’s new agreement different?

  • willowfield

    I hear Keith M got his car re-sprayed for Christmas. Apparently he’s now telling everyone he got a new car.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Keith thinks that if he keeps repeating that the Belfast Agreement is dead it will make it true. Any chance you could justify your opinion Keith ? The 1998 Northern Ireland Act has not been overturned. The talks which went on and which will go on in the future are aimed at bringing the institutions established by the GFA back into operation again.