Sid Ryan, a three-time International Peace Observer to the process between the Protestant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Catholic Sinn Fein to reach peace in Northern Ireland, hailed today’s landmark agreement to share power.
“Both Ian Paisley of the DUP and Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein are to be congratulated on reaching an accord to restore self-rule where they will both set the political course of Northern Ireland’s future,“ said Ryan who is Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Ryan met with both leaders when he joined politicians from Ottawa and Ontario as part of the Canadian delegations sent to Northern Ireland on three occasions during the years 1998 to 2002.
At that time, Canadian observers were participating in a world-wide effort to bring the two sides together during a period when Catholics and Protestants were embroiled in violent conflict.
“Today’s historic agreement brings to an end 800 years of conflict between Protestants and Catholics,” said Ryan. “Finally, the people of Northern Ireland will be able to join in the economic miracle that has transformed Southern Ireland in the last decade.”