Queen says peace can’t be ‘taken as a right’ on Northern Eire’s centenary


Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast – Liam McBurney/PA

The Queen has stated that the peace in Northern Eire is a “credit score to its folks” as she marked the centenary of the creation of the province, however warned that reconciliation can’t be taken as a right.

In a heat private message, Her Majesty, 95, recalled with “fondness” her go to to Eire with the Duke of Edinburgh ten years in the past this month, revealing that she treasures the reminiscences and the spirit of goodwill they witnessed.

She stated the peace course of was a credit score to the leaders who had the “imaginative and prescient and braveness to place reconciliation earlier than division” however that the continued peace was “a credit score to its folks, upon whose shoulders the long run rests.”

The Authorities of Eire Act got here into pressure on Could 3, 1921, formalising the partition of the island and retaining six counties of the traditional province of Ulster inside the UK.

The anniversary comes at a turbulent time, following the resignation final week of Arlene Foster, the chief of the Democratic Unionist Get together and the province’s first minister, which alongside Brexit and Nicola Sturgeon’s calls for for a second independence referendum in Scotland, has prompted renewed questions on its governance and borders.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Bushmills village, Northern Ireland - POOL New/REUTERS

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Bushmills village, Northern Eire – POOL New/REUTERS

The province can be reeling from current rioting in Loyalist areas and mounting anger over the complicated Northern Eire Protocol.

The Queen stated the anniversary served as a reminder of the UK and Eire’s “complicated historical past” and offered a chance to “mirror on our togetherness and our range.”

“In Northern Eire immediately, there’s, maybe greater than ever, a wealthy mixture of identities, backgrounds and aspirations, and an outward-looking and optimistic mindset,” she stated.

“The political progress in Northern Eire and the peace course of is rightly credited to a technology of leaders who had the imaginative and prescient and braveness to place reconciliation earlier than division.

“However above all, the continued peace is a credit score to its folks, upon whose shoulders the long run rests.”

Her Majesty added: “It’s clear that reconciliation, equality and mutual understanding can’t be taken as a right, and would require sustained fortitude and dedication.

“Throughout my many visits to Northern Eire, I’ve seen these qualities in abundance, and look ahead to seeing them once more on future events.”

The Queen stated she needed to recognise the “necessary contribution made by our associates and closest neighbours in the direction of the success of Northern Eire.”

She added: “I look again with fondness on the go to Prince Philip and I paid to Eire, ten years in the past this month. I treasure my many reminiscences, and the spirit of goodwill I noticed at first hand.

“Throughout generations, the folks of Northern Eire are selecting to construct an inclusive, affluent, and hopeful society, strengthened by the positive factors of the peace course of. Could this be our guiding thread within the coming years.

“I ship my warmest good needs to the folks of Northern Eire.”

It was signed “Elizabeth R”.

In the meantime, Boris Johnson stated the UK Authorities would proceed to showcase “all of the sensible issues” that Northern Eire contributes to the remainder of the UK in a message to the nation to mark its centenary.

The Prime Minister stated on Twitter: “It is a very important nationwide anniversary, marking the one centesimal yr because the Authorities of Eire Act got here into impact and the formation of the UK as we all know it immediately.

“All through 2021, in its centenary yr, the Authorities will proceed to showcase all of the sensible issues Northern Eire contributes to the remainder of the UK and the world, from its world-class fintech business and analysis capabilities, to its inspiring younger folks, and its vibrant tradition of arts and sport.

“Additionally it is necessary that we pause to mirror on the complicated historical past of the final 100 years. Individuals from all components of Northern Eire, the Republic of Eire, the UK and throughout the globe, will method this anniversary in numerous methods, with differing views.

“Whereas it is a second of shared reflection, additionally it is an necessary alternative to return collectively to rejoice Northern Eire and construct in the direction of a greater and even brighter future for all its folks.”



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