Statement from Minister Flanagan on political situation in Northern Ireland16/1/17
Statement from Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, on the political situation in Northern Ireland / calling of Assembly elections in Northern Ireland
“As the deadline to re-nominate a First and deputy First Minister passed at 5pm this evening, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has now set Thursday, 2nd March as the date for fresh Assembly elections.
“I spoke with Secretary of State Brokenshire on this matter this afternoon, and we agreed that both Governments should continue to work closely together in the weeks to come, looking ahead to the post-election period, when a new power-sharing Executive will need to be formed.
“In this regard, as the Assembly election campaign gets underway, I reiterate my call to all parties in the election to act responsibly in word and deed so that the political institutions of the Good Friday Agreement will not be damaged in the longer term.
“These institutions, including the Assembly and the Executive, are indispensable for addressing the needs and concerns of people in Northern Ireland, including peace, prosperity, reconciliation and indeed the considerable challenges posted by the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
“Any election campaign will see different points of view raised, but voters are entitled to expect that their political representatives will come together respectfully, in accordance with the principles of the Good Friday Agreement, to deliver solutions for all of the people of Northern Ireland. I urge all parties contesting the Assembly election to bear that duty in mind in the weeks ahead.
“As a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Irish Government will continue to work with the British Government and the political parties to advance political stability, reconciliation and economic prosperity in Northern Ireland."
16 January 2017