Forward Together Podcast

The GFA brought peace - but paramilitaries haven’t gone away

The Good Friday Agreement ended the bitter conflict, but failed to eliminate the poison of paramilitarism. In the latest Forward Together interview recorded before the loyalist street riots protesting against the Brexit Protocol and the latest paramilitary shootings in Derry, Duncan Morrow considers the limitations of the GFA. Northern Ireland remains overshadowed by paramilitaries that claim a political motivation, yet are engaged in criminal enterprises that include the drug trade, protection rackets and loan sharking.

Show Notes

The GFA brought peace - but paramilitaries haven’t gone away

The Good Friday Agreement ended the bitter conflict, but failed to eliminate the poison of paramilitarism. In the latest Forward Together interview recorded before the loyalist street riots protesting against the Brexit Protocol and the latest paramilitary shootings in Derry, Duncan Morrow considers the limitations of the GFA. Northern Ireland remains overshadowed by paramilitaries that claim a political motivation, yet are engaged in criminal enterprises that include the drug trade, protection rackets and loan sharking.

Can the GFA now be amended, or would that unpick the essential elements of the agreement, wonders Duncan. But the absence of an effective remedy for paramilitaries is not the only weakness of the GFA, which arguably ingrained the concept of Northern Ireland consisting of two, opposed, communities and traditions. That ignores the growing part of our society that does not identify as either unionist or nationalist/republican.

Duncan is a social policy professor, lecturer in politics and director of community engagement at Ulster University and for ten years was chief executive of the Community Relations Council. He has been an election candidate for the Alliance Party. The interview with Duncan can be listened to here.

The Holywell Trust Forward Together podcasts are funded by the Community Relations Council’s Media Grant Scheme. 
   
Disclaimer: This project has received support from the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council which aims to promote a pluralist society characterised by equity, respect for diversity, and recognition of interdependence. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Community Relations Council. 

What is Forward Together Podcast?

Gerard Deane and Paul Gosling host a series of interviews with the objective of promoting a wider, more inclusive and engaged conversation about how we make progress and further solidify peace and create a genuinely shared and integrated society in Northern Ireland. Holywell Trust is curating a discussion that is mutually respectful, forward focused and positive. The podcast considers the real challenges that Northern Ireland's society faces in the coming years and begins to arrive at practical and honest approaches to address these.