Aontú leader and Meath west TD, Deputy Peadar Tóibín, has urged the British and Irish Governments to reconstitute the Northern Ireland Executive with or without the DUP before the marking of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Deputy Tobin highlighted how the celebration of the anniversary will be a hollow affair without the political institutions in situ. He says, that while the absence of violence over the last 25 years has been welcome, the fact remains that there has not been a functioning democracy in Northern Ireland for 40% of those 25 years.
The Meath west TD told Northern Sound that one in seven people in the six counties are on hospital waiting lists while Enniskillen A&E is set to close, and Daisy Hill Hospital hemorrhaging services. He added there are over 43,000 people on social housing waiting lists; tens of thousands of food packages being distributed through food banks; and a £750m hole in the Education budget.
"While the Good Friday Agreement was a significant step forward, the guarantors of the Agreement - the British and Irish Governments - have failed miserably in guaranteeing its function. There is a serious cost to the people for this failure. Are we going to see pomp and pageantry of anniversary celebration together with a US Presidential cavalcade but still no functioning democracy?
"It will be a very hallow celebration if that is the case. We urge the two Governments to proceed with the Protocol and to reform the legislation underpinning the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement so that no one party can crash the democratic system ever again. The objective of the Good Friday Agreement will be realised in time for the 25th anniversary".