Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said that if clarification can be offered on Windsor Framework to restore Northern Ireland’s powersharing institutions, it should be done.
“We saw the vote yesterday, we know what the DUP did,” he said, referring to the DUP’s vote against a key element of the Windsor Framework in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The vote passed with 515 MPs voting for it and 29 politicians voting against it.
“I think what’s necessary now is to move forward and make decisions and go with them.”
Speaking at an event in Dublin to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Ahern said he hoped politicians would “jump on the opportunity” and warned against putting decisions off until the time is right.
“I remember the usual thing was to put it off until after the next election, and then put it off until after the marching season, and then it’s holiday season, and then it’s the All-Ireland hurling final season, and then its some other season, and then it’s the winter, and then it’s Christmas… Make the bloody decision and get on with it.”
He said that the future of Northern Ireland “is extraordinarily bright”, outlining the possibility of Artificial Intelligence investment, and that it made no difference to him if the impasse is resolved in time for the Good Friday Agreement anniversary in mid-April.
“I just think time is moving on, opportunities are moving on.
“But there’s one thing you always need to remember is not to annoy people too much in life.
“If I was a northern politician today, I wouldn’t want to annoy Washington, I wouldn’t like to annoy Westminster, I wouldn’t like to annoy the British government, I wouldn’t like to annoy the European Parliament, I wouldn’t like to annoy the Irish government.
“And I certainly wouldn’t like to annoy them all.”