Saint-Genis-Laval Northern Ireland has been a dominant theme for Jeremy Corbyn during his long career as a back banker. Mr Corbyn, the backbench, was a Republican supporter. He supported a united Ireland and repeatedly identified significantly with Sinn Féin, with which the Provisional IRA was entangled. It voted against the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 on the grounds that it solidified the border between North and South. He was still outside the labour mainstream, which preferred a generally bipartisan approach in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, it voted in favour of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement on the grounds that it offers hope for peace and reconciliation beyond the gap. As leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn has been more cautious on the Irish issue. The visit to Belfast on Thursday was his first since his election in 2015. The visit was preceded by an outbreak of outrage now known in the press, after his spokesman confirmed that Corbyn continued to support the Irish association, while stressing that he was doing so as part of the 1998 agreement. The agreement states that a united Ireland can only be achieved through separate and simultaneous votes by both parts of Ireland and that the unification of Northern Ireland with Great Britain is legitimate until that happens. But Corbyn`s previous record inevitably allowed DUP union MPs to mock him this week because he was not prepared to condemn IRA atrocities or meet his victims.
Medford Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the deal and, along with the vast majority of Westminster MPs, supported it by voting in favour of the Northern Ireland Act in July 1998 and saying: “We look forward to peace, hope and reconciliation in Ireland in the future.” The agreement was adopted by Dáil Éireann by 88 votes to 75 and by Seanad Éireann by 37 votes to 16.   Fianna Fáil, the main opposition party in Ireland, also rejected the deal. Fianna Fáil leader Charles Haughey claimed the agreement was contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution because it formally recognised British jurisdiction in Northern Ireland. It was also rejected by independent Republican TDs Neil Blaney and Tony Gregory, blaney calling the deal a “fraudster`s job.” Despite this opposition, all the other main parties in the Republic supported the agreement and it was ratified by the Oireachtas. Strategically, the agreement showed that the British government recognised as legitimate the Republic`s desire to have an interest in the affairs of Northern Ireland and also showed the Unionists that they could not politically veto British policy towards Ulster by their presence in the House of Commons. . . .