Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, writing for his Leargas blog, has warned that the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that formally ended more than two decades of armed conflict in the six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain, “hangs by a thread”.
Part of the agreement is a power-sharing arrangement between the Irish republican Sinn Fein and pro-British unionist forces. In a July 12 post, Adams said: “In the 17 years since it was achieved the Agreement has faced many challenges but the determination of the British Tory government, and of the unionist parties, to implement swinging austerity cuts represents the gravest threat yet to the political institutions.”
He said Sinn Fein's decision to give “conditional support” to a proposed budget for the Stormont Assembly “provided a space in which solutions might still be found. However the ability of the parties to do this has been severely undermined by four years of consistent Tory cuts that have targeted public services and the most vulnerable in society.
“In total one and a half billion pounds has been slashed form the Executive’s budget in addition to cuts to welfare spending at Westminster. This austerity agenda has caused real hardship for many families and impacted badly on the provision of public services.”
[Abridged from Irish Republican News.]