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It's been a long time since hands of history were extended in friendship... and there's no pressure to do so

Andree Murphy


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Better times: peacemaking gestures such as the Queen shaking hands with Martin McGuinness are a thing of the past

Better times: peacemaking gestures such as the Queen shaking hands with Martin McGuinness are a thing of the past

Better times: peacemaking gestures such as the Queen shaking hands with Martin McGuinness are a thing of the past

The 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement seems a long time ago now. While it was a jovial affair, there was also concern regarding institutions which had been down a year and there was advice from the older men of local politics to the younger women of local politics to get Stormont up and running again. It felt as disconnected to our present as it was connected to the past.

The truth is that the language of the peace process has not fitted into post-Good Friday Agreement politics for some time. No matter your opinion on the matters, the contest over victims' payments resulting in a court case and the tweet by Martina Anderson only serve to highlight how far from those aspirations we have travelled.

Once upon a time in politics on this island, there was a commitment to building peace and understanding, to reaching beyond one's own community and experience.