Religious representatives of the Irish Catholic and Anglican communities have thanked God for the political peace that has been achieved in Ireland in the last 20 years and have urged people to continue to be “ambassadors of reconciliation”.
Archbishop Eamon Martin and the Church of Ireland’s Archbishop Richard Clarke released the joint statement on April 9 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), which was vital for the major political progress in Northern Ireland during the late 1990’s.
In the statement, the archbishops gave thanks to God “for all that has been achieved in building peace since that historic moment”, which was written in a context of decades of violence, divided communities and immense suffering and death.
“Above all we thank God for the generation of young people who are growing up without the sounds of bomb or bullet on a daily basis; for the livelihoods and businesses which have not been destroyed; for the families and neighbourhoods who have been spared the heart-breaking pain and trauma of death or serious injury.”
The archbishops also warned that although the GFA has allowed healthy democracy to be developed and sustained, Northern Ireland still presents many problems and opportunities which all of us can solve and grasp.