Statement by Minister Ahern on the appointment of Peter Hain as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
On learning of the appointment of Peter Hain as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., said:
“I would like to offer my warm congratulations to Peter Hain on his appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and to convey my heartfelt thanks to Paul Murphy for his work in that office over recent years.
It was an honour to work with Paul on the two Governments' joint project of advancing peace and political stability in Northern Ireland. Paul's qualities of political wisdom, forbearance and unfailing courtesy were widely admired and appreciated by all of those in the process who had the privilege of working with him. He made an immense contribution to the political process and I wish him every success and happiness in his continuing parliamentary career.
I warmly congratulate Peter Hain on his appointment as Secretary of State. His evident political ability and experience will be considerable assets to the process. I look forward to working with him in the same spirit of co-operation and partnership that has characterised my working relationship with Paul Murphy. I wish the new Secretary of State every success as he takes up his new and challenging assignment and hope to have an early opportunity to meet him in person.
Both Governments are wholly committed to advancing the peace process and to securing the stable and inclusive operation of all of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. This requires securing a way forward that is based on exclusively peaceful and democratic means and on a real commitment by all parties to partnership politics. The two Governments will engage with the political parties in the coming weeks with a view to moving the process decisively forward.
I again congratulate Peter Hain on his new appointment and convey my sincere thanks to Paul Murphy for a job that was very well done.”