Sinn Féin Seanad Leader, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, has called on An Taoiseach Micheál Martin to convene a Citizens’ Assembly on constitutional change, in preparation for a managed transition towards Irish reunification.
Addressing the Taoiseach in the Seanad this afternoon, Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:
“The Irish government’s role in the momentum for change is crucial, especially in relation to the setting up of a Citizens’ Assembly.
“Much progress has been made since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. But, the Agreement didn’t ‘settle’ the constitutional question, it asks us it.
“The big issues are well known – the need for engagement with the broad unionist and Protestant community. And there are many in that community keen to play their part in the debate about this country’s future.
“The conversation on constitutional change is happening in every corner of this island. There are numerous academic projects looking at the constitutional and economic implications of a united Ireland.
“A Citizens’ Assembly will provide the opportunity for the government to present its vision for the nation’s future in terms of the health and education systems; the unionist and Protestant people; cultural identity and symbols; in terms of the governance structures; in terms of the constitution; human rights; the economy and much more.
“The dialogue and popular engagement that is underway across this nation about our constitutional future needs a home.
“It needs a Citizens Assembly to give it focus; to give it direction and to give the energy that is clearly being invested a planned outcome.”