Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath has called on both the government and the Fianna Fáil party to give significantly more prominence to those who were instrumental in bringing about the Good Friday Agreement, but who now seem to be excluded from the current political debate on the issue.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after former government adviser, Dr. Martin Mansergh, highlighted the notable absence of any reference to former Taoisigh, Albert Reynolds and Bertie Ahern and Fr Alex Reid during his oration at the General Liam Lynch Memorial in Newcastle, Co. Tipperary on Sunday:
“Twenty years after ago, Dr Mansergh gave the oration at our event, a mere week after the original signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
This week however, he has observed how deeply ironic it is that while Bertie Ahern will be fêted as a statesman in Belfast this week, the party that he led for 14 years “continues to maintains a stony silence about the author of one of its biggest achievements.”
The same can be said about the key role that Albert Reynolds and Fr Alex Reid played. “Why is it that the only reference to these individuals during the recent Dáil debate on the Good Friday Agreement came not from the government or Fianna Fail, but from myself? Why the sudden historical amnesia particularly within the leadership of Fianna Fail? It is my view that as we head into a period of renewed reflection on the necessity of the Good Friday Agreement that we do justice to all those who were centrally involved in its formulation and not side line them through a political ‘stony silence,’ concluded Deputy McGrath.