No protestants believe Unionism benefitted from GFA?

PA writer Ed Carty gets into the ESRC report that Pete blogged below. He fastens on to the figures that indicate Protestants still feel they did badly out of the Belfast Agreement:

Almost seven years since the accord was ratified by referendum, the study finds 85 per cent of Protestants feel nationalists got the best of the deal. But the report from the Economic and Social Research Institute shows most Catholics think unionists and nationalists were treated equally. The research also shows no Protestants believe the accord benefited unionists – a drop from 5 per cent in 1998.

  • Christopher Stalford

    No Unionists think the Belfast Agreement benefitted their community. Has anyone told Cunningham House yet?

  • vespasian


    Since you signed up to it last November has anyone told YOU.

    YOU had the benefit of many years and still didn’t see it.

    Your leader has finally last night cottoned on to the real situation! – “rotten to the core ” I think he said. This was after saying he would still deal with them in they decomissioned two weeks ago.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Odd then that Peter Robinson said he was prepared to work within its parameters in the run-up to the failed deal before Christmas!

  • Christopher Stalford

    LOL! Thought that would provoke a response! I choose not to go over this old ground other than to say we were anti the Belfast Agreement in 1998, and remain opposed to it today. Those who support it and argue that its a good deal for Unionism are noe in a minority of less than 10% according to this survey.

  • Christopher Stalford

    now, not noe. Sorry

  • vespasian


    You have avoided answering the question as usual, if less than 10% support it why did you and your colleagues accept it without changing one word last year?

    Therefore you are not opposed to it today unless you have done massive ‘U’ turn.

  • daithi

    Paul Murphy: “Not one change has been made” to the 1998 Agreement as a result of the Comprehensive Agreement.

    The Comprehensive Agreement *is* the Belfast Agreement + you’ve agreed to Speaking Rights in the Dail for Sinn Fein MPs + you’ve agreed to an All-Ireland Civic Forum with consultative powers + you’d agreed to devolution of Policing & Justice powers – meaning Gerry Kelly as Policing Minister.

    What happened? What happened to the “Fair Deal”? Or was that just propaganda to get ye into the negotiations?

    Well done Ian. Well done Peter.

  • GavBelfast

    I don’t think the out-working of the Agreement has benefitted the ordinary people of Northern Ireland, never mind just unionists.

    Perhaps if I had a gun or could threaten meaningful violence, I might feel differently.

    A shame that.

  • AW

    I don’t think the out-working of the Agreement has benefited the ordinary people of Northern Ireland, never mind just unionists.
    Perhaps if I had a gun or could threaten meaningful violence, I might feel differently.

    Until this society starts to put away some of the serious criminals that terrorise our communities it is hard to argue against your position.

    Went past the local pub Saturday and must have been some UDA clan meeting. What a collection, they would make one doubt the human race.

    For ordinary people who go out do a days work and pay their taxes what are they to think when they see people they know to be criminals, being kept on benefits, whilst running all sorts of rackets and waltzing up and down to Stormont to try to extort the odd £70 million there. Will we ever be rid of them?

  • factfinder

    The GFA has been good for everyone. The security forces are not getting shot at. Less sectarian killings. Major street riots are down to skirmishes. Less and less families put out of homes.Real bomb scares(not hoaxes) are rare.

    The GFA will take at least a generation to work fully but it is edging along.

  • DXI

    Well it would be true that they did badly out of the GFA if it was ever actually implemented. But as the British Government has removed all the bits the Unionists find objectionable I cannot see why they are complaining. What we have now is hardly the GFA.

  • aquifer

    Unionism was a supremacist and intellectually lazy creed. They lost the majoritarian stormont and did not take the trouble to define what they valued very clearly, so they won’t and don’t appreciate what they’ve got. Also, the regional government promised by the GFA has not been embedded, and the decommissioning that was done was done under a cloak, so they feel cheated. They never really liked their own paramilitaries very much, so can take no joy in their notorious freebooting.

    They probably needed their British leaders to force a workable version of it through over their heads, as the 72% vote entitled the NIO to do.

    Pushing the Unionists around, or even talking straight to them for a change, could also have provided emotional rescue for the talking wounded of SFPIRA, although with the Brits in the driving seat it could have been too easy for them to go into rejectionist mode.

    Now SFPIRA must confirm and assimilate that TUAS stood for totally unarmed strategy rather than tactical use of armed struggle. Or prove the grumpy and thran prods right despite themselves.

  • IJP

    Another helpful intervention there, DXI. You know I was nearly sure that unrepentant murderers were released, the police was reformed, and former terrorists were given positions in government in direct opposition to Unionists’ views.

    Nevertheless, it is frankly nonsense to say life isn’t better for just about everyone than it was 6 or 10 years back. This is an example of something else: Nationalists are being uncharitable when they say ‘Unionists can’t deal with equality’, but there’s something in it.

  • ulsterman

    The GFA never achieved majority Unionist support. The referendum vote was inconclusive. The fact that the Unionist majority was always on a knife edge was testimony to this.

    The agreement failed because it was a contradiction in terms. SF were allowed to present it as a victory when infact it was an enormous defeat for everything the Republican movement stood for. Indeed SF became ministers of the Queen. The Irish government renounced its illegal claim to Ulster.

    However Trimble lost in the end because he was not prepared to say to the IRA to disband are give up government. The DUP were, and come May the DUP will wipe the floor with the UUP.

    God Save The Queen.