Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Micheál Martin T.D., on today’s announcement by the First and deputy First Ministers
“I welcome today’s announcement by the First and deputy First Ministers that they have reached an agreement on the way forward for certain important issues facing the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.
Their agreement sets out a plan for the devolution of policing and justice powers to the Executive, which will be an important step for Northern Ireland in moving away from the difficulties of the past and becoming a fully normalised society.
I warmly welcome the progress made which I believe will benefit all the people of Northern Ireland.
Today’s announcement, which follows direct contact between the two parties, is a significant development in terms of completing the process of devolution. It offers renewed assurance for the sustainability of the power-sharing arrangements at Stormont.
The Irish Government has always made clear its commitment to the full implementation of all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement, including the effective operation of the Executive and the North-South Ministerial Council. I now look forward to the early and full re-commencement of the work of these Institutions.
I wish First Minister Peter Robinson, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and all the Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive well as they now work together to address the many challenges of government in these difficult times”.
18th November 2008