By Sean Ryan - 21 October, 2017
The former leader of the Church of Ireland, Lord Robin Eames, has said that the absence of a power sharing executive at Stormount is leading to greater uncertainty at a time when there is already huge concern on how Brexit will affect Northern Ireland.
Robin Eames, who was leader of the Church of Ireland between 1986 and 2006, made the comments as he launched his new book, ‘Unfinished Search’, this week. Speaking at the launch, Dr Eames said that the current long-running disagreement between the DUP and Sinn Féin, with its lack of a spirit of compromise and cooperation, makes many people ask “has anything changed?” since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.”The continuing vacuum caused by a failure to reach agreement has further contributed to anxiety about the future of Northern Ireland,” he said. “A prolonged political vacuum would be an immense tragedy given, despite the setbacks, how far Northern Ireland has come.” He said that when devolution collapsed in January “the political architecture so painfully constructed crumbled in a storm of blame and accusation” and “old enmities filled the air waves”.
Lord Eames, who co-chaired the Consultative Group on the Past with former Derry priest, Denis Bradley, argues that a failure to deal with the legacy of The Troubles, and to meet the needs of victims, is at the heart of successive periods of political deadlock in recent years. “One part of the peace process in Northern Ireland on which much hope rested had failed the test,” he said. “The past with all its bitter memories had proved to be stronger than many had hoped. “Deep divisions many had thought were in the past resurfaced. Hopes for a stable community were put on hold.”
‘Unfinished Search’ also includes reflections on loyalism, the Drumcree dispute, paramilitaries and the political climate. He also urges the Orange Order to show that it is ready to contribute “to the shared society which is emerging around it.”
The book which is published by Columba Press retails at £17.99 in paperback and £20.99 in hardback.