"Supporting but not supplanting" Northern Ireland's politicians on flags: Tánaiste

Eamon Gilmore TD has defended the Irish his government’s record

Eamon Gilmore TD has defended the Irish his government’s record

By Steven McCaffery

THE Irish government has insisted it has a “persistent and unwavering” commitment to creating true peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland amid growing concern over the violent flags dispute.

But in an article written for The Detail the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said that while Dublin will continue its efforts, those efforts “must support rather than supplant the efforts of the Executive and elected political leaders”.

The Labour leader was responding to an analysis piece on The Detail here on Tuesday which drew attention to the absence of intervention by the British and Irish governments in the ongoing flags crisis that has sparked violence and widespread disruption in Northern Ireland across two months.

He defends his government’s record, and pledges further support for the peace process, promising:

:: The “closest cooperation with the Northern Ireland Executive”.

:: “Ever-deeper partnership with the British Government.”

:: A respectful approach to commemorations.

:: Plus “maintaining practical international support for the peace process”.

He added: “In 2013 the Irish Government will sustain our efforts. The vision of the Good Friday Agreement is for a peaceful and reconciled society. Our commitment to achieving that vision is persistent and unwavering.”

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