Congressional Leaders Release Statement Praising Hillsborough Castle Agreement

February 5, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C. —Three bipartisan co-chairs of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), released the following statement praising today's announcement of the “Hillsborough Castle Agreement”, which represents a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process.  The agreement lays out a pathway forward for local control of policing and justice powers in Northern Ireland.  Overcoming significant obstacles to this “devolution” of policing and justice, all parties agreed to undertake a series of steps aimed at complete devolution by April 12th.  Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown invested significant time and effort in hammering out the agreement, which took place in Hillsborough Castle in Belfast. 

"While more remains to be done, this announcement is an important and historic step forward towards ensuring long-lasting peace in Northern Ireland. 

“We applaud the leaders who worked so hard to secure this critical accord, including Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson.  We also commend Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown for their tireless and courageous efforts in making the Hillsborough Castle Agreement a reality.  We would also like to thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her steadfast leadership and involvement in the devolution process. 

“The dream of peace and complete self-governance for the people of Northern Ireland is one step closer to reality today.”