Aontú Leader Tells Tánaiste That The Good Friday Agreement "has been gutted"
Speaking in the Dáil today, the leader of Aontú, Peadar Tóibín TD called on the government to 'exhaust all avenues' in seeking the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
In an exchange with the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, during Leaders Questions, Deputy Tóibín said:
"The British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been accused of saying that a no deal Brexit in Ireland would only “affect a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks”. Some might say this is just Tories being Tories. But it gives an insight into the ignorance at the heart of the British bad faith on Brexit and on the north of Ireland.
The Good Friday Agreement is shredded. It is gutted. The Executive has collapsed, at a time of a crippling Cost of living crisis, when 44,000 people are on housing waiting lists, when 270,000 are on hospital waiting lists for more than a year and when there are 670,000 people living in poverty. This would not be acceptable anywhere else in the western democratic world.
The North South Ministerial Council, the reason many Nationalists voted for the Good Friday Agreement, has not met in nearly a year. In the face of mounting evidence which confirms British collusion in multiple killings north and south, the Tories are ploughing ahead with legislation which would indemnify murderers and securocrats responsible for the killing of hundreds of Irish people.
The issue of the human right to life is a devolved issue under the Good Friday Agreement, yet today Brandon Lewis will announce the imposition of some of the most extreme laws in Europe on the north. This will be done against the will of the people and it will see thousands of lives lost in the coming years.
The Tories and the DUP have totaled the Good Friday Agreement and the democratic rights of the people of the north. Your government is a co guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement. It is safe to say that YOU are not co guaranteeing anything. It's beyond time that you fulfill your responsibilities. The Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty. You should be exhausting all international legal avenues to see its implementation. You should seek the suspension of MLA salaries while the Executive is suspended.
You should be harnessing the full extent of White House and EU power to put pressure on the British Government. You should seek the reconstitution of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference. You should be pushing for Joint Authority while Stormont is collapsed. Finally Tánaiste you should seek a legally defined role for the Assembly in the activating of a Irish Unity Poll. I welcome the stronger language of the Minister for Foreign Affairs this week. The British Government doesn't understand subtlety but we need actions. What actions will you take Tánaiste?
Aontú has published a Bill which would constitute a Commission of Investigation into British Collusion in the murders of citizens north and south. Despite the mounting evidence of British State Collusion, incredibly, there has never been a comprehensive investigation into what happened, and how far up the chain of command British collusion goes.
Victims and survivors are entitled to know the truth. Many of the families that have been affected are reaching older age. Time is running out. There is an urgency to this. This Aontú Bill would empower a Commission of Investigation to compel witnesses in the south of Ireland. It would have the power to take evidence from people outside of this state. It would have the power to consider information from other published state investigations internationally. This could help fill key gaps in the bigger collusion picture. A similar Bill enacted in Stormont would allow witnesses to be compelled in the north also", concluded Tóibín.