Colum Eastwood 2023 New Year message: Generosity and selflessness needed in GFA 25th anniversary year

This has been a turbulent political year.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The collapse of power sharing government has had an impact far beyond mere optics or sentiment. It has made a material and detrimental difference to the position thousands of families across Northern Ireland (NI) face as they struggle to heat their homes, feed their families and gather some sense of hope about their future.

The politics of despair has failed struggling families, striking workers trying to get a fair deal and all those who deserve and rightly demand better from politicians.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I accept and understand the political discomfort that many feel following the hard Brexit forced on our people. It was not of our choosing and, as with much this Tory Government has done, we have been left to deal with the fallout.

Colum EastwoodColum Eastwood
Colum Eastwood

And while we cannot alter the events of the last seven years, we can choose to change our approach to these challenges and our attitude to one another.

Read More
Irish church leaders’ 2023 New Year Message

In the twenty fifth anniversary year of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) we need political leaders to display more of the generosity, selflessness and common endeavour that has characterised our greatest achievements.

That can only happen if we leave the politics of division and deadlock in our past. Improving relations between the British Government and European Commission (EC), for example, provide a platform for us all to find consensus rather than revelling in further dispute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

2023 will also be a year for the SDLP to continue our dedicated work to unite our people and unite this island. Our national conversation about a New Ireland will continue at pace with further engagement and dialogue aimed at producing a road map to a new future together.

I sincerely hope that 2023 will see the early resumption of devolved government in the North. Despite our clear differences, I have always believed that we can accomplish so much more by working and governing together in the common interests of our communities than by allowing London to intervene in their own narrow interests. The SDLP will spill our sweat, as we always have, to achieve that goal.