Saturday 21 September 2019

Good Friday Agreement is a 'beacon to the world' and can't be jeopardised by Brexit - Nancy Pelosi tells Dail

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is met by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó’Fearghaíl and Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan at Leinster House
Pic: Mark Condren
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is met by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó’Fearghaíl and Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan at Leinster House Pic: Mark Condren
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

NANCY Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has said two decades of peace cannot be jeopardised by Brexit.

In a historic address at Leinster House, Ms Pelosi told current and former Oireachtas members that the Good Friday Agreement is a “beacon to the world”.

“We treasure the Good Friday Accord,” she said.

In a contribution that focused mainly on the strong ties between Ireland and the United States, Ms Pelosi also gave her backing to the Government’s bid to win a seat on the UN Security Council.

She urged Irish politicians to be leaders on climate change.

And Ms Pelosi praised Ireland as a modern nation that has “blossomed”, citing the recent referendums on marriage equality and abortion.

The event to mark the 100th anniversary of the first sitting of Dáil Eireann was also attended a number of US congressmen who are travelled as part of Ms Pelosi’s delegation.

And Bono, along with his wife Ali Hewson, were seated in the distinguished guests gallery inside the Dáil chamber.

His appearance caused a stir among TDs and senators, many of whom queued up to shake his hand afterwards.

The Speaker praised him for his contribution to music and campaign work.

She said both Ireland and the US "know the joy of independence" and both "endured the traumatic experience of civil war and the satisfaction of rebuilding our nations".

"It is these mutual experiences that our nations affirm for each other and to the world our democratic values and commitment to freedom. When Ireland proudly proclaimed its independence our people stood together.”

To applause, she repeated her view that there will be no trade deal between the US and UK after Brexit if there is any possibility of the Good Friday Agreement being undermined.

“We must ensure that nothing happens in the Brexit discussions that imperils the Good Friday Accord, including but not limited to, the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland,” she said.

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