July 31, 2018

Sinn Fein abstained from the vote on the Good Friday Agreement

David Trimble said to Alex Kane:
"Sinn Fein were heavily opposed to a Northern Ireland Assembly. In December 1997 it was proving almost impossible to get them to even agree to put an Assembly on the agenda. The SDLP wanted it on the agenda but they weren’t prepared to face down Sinn Fein at that stage."

He continued:
“It became clear very early on in the referendum campaign that there was going to be a massive vote among nationalists in favour of the agreement. And when the Shinners realised that, they did the quickest U-turn you have ever seen. And I’m quite sure that during the negotiations and during that last night, even on the day on which the agreement was voted through, they abstained. And the reason they abstained was their hostility to Stormont. They didn’t want Stormont: but it was what they got and what the people voted for and they proceeded to make the best of that situation."

Sean McDougall from the Institute of Contemporary British History said:
"Garret FitzGerald says that ‘without the provision which postponed the start of decommissioning, the IRA would not have allowed the Sinn Fein leadership to sign the Agreement’ (LRB, 2 September). In fact, Sinn Fein did not sign the Agreement – nobody did, as it was accepted on a vote. Moreover, in that vote Sinn Fein abstained, establishing for itself a unique position among those who subsequently campaigned for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...