Following the recent Assembly Elections I tabled Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Dáil Éireann regarding the need to ensure that an Executive is established at the earliest possible date.
We need to see all the Institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement operational for the benefit of the people of all of this island.
For Oral Answer on : 10/05/2022
Question Number(s): 129 Question Reference(s): 22650/22
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: Brendan Smith T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will have discussions with the political parties in Stormont and with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in relation to the need to ensure that an Executive is established at the earliest possible date following the assembly election; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Government will continue to work closely with the British government and with the parties in Northern Ireland in support of the devolved power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland and the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent implementing Agreements.
It is now for the political parties to come together to negotiate a Programme for Government and form an Executive, as the elected representatives of their constituencies. The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Act, enacted by the UK Government in 2022, gives effect to the stability provisions of the New Decade, New Approach agreement. The Act provides for a period of twenty-four weeks following the first meeting of the Assembly for the Northern Irish parties to form an Executive.
I would like to see the early establishment of an Executive.
While there are challenges around the Protocol, discussions on the application of the Protocol proceeded previously in parallel with the work of the Assembly and the Executive. They can do so again. Those discussions should not be an impediment to the formation of the Executive.
I have remained and continue to remain in regular contact with the parties in Northern Ireland following the Assembly elections. I am also in frequent contact with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. We have discussed the importance of calm and measured leadership in the period ahead. The importance of ensuring the functioning of devolved institutions in Northern Ireland was also a key topic of discussion at the recent British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference held in Dublin on 23 March 2022.
We will continue to engage with the parties and the British Government as it does, to support the full functioning of the democratic institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. I hope that we will see those institutions up and running as soon as possible. I will continue to remain in contact with the Secretary of State, as both Governments work in partnership as co-guarantors of the Agreement, in support of power-sharing and a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Northern Ireland.