Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Defence Pádraig MacLochlainn TD has stated that a Bill of Rights must form part of the Constitutional Convention’s work under any refreshed mandate.
Speaking in the Dáil tonight, Deputy MacLochlainn said:
“Sinn Féin submitted a submission to the Constitutional Convention calling for A Bill of Rights amendment and we have been pleased with the response to date.
“I can’t stress enough the need for a comprehensive Bill of Rights amendment that would follow a systematic review of the provisions at Articles 38-45.
“The work of change was delegated to the Constitutional Review Group in 1996.
"It then continued but was never finished by the Oireachtas All-Party Committee on the Constitution before that committee was discontinued by this Government in favour of the Constitutional Convention.
“As I pointed out earlier, the Constitutional Convention has done a fine job.
“Following this successful pilot period, the Government and the Oireachtas should now mandate a fresh Convention in the same format, with a broader and more comprehensive remit to address the two broad areas of a Bill of Rights and institutional reform in the 2014-2015 period and to introduce the remaining proposals for amendment in time for 2016.
“What better way to celebrate 1916 than by enshrining rights of equality within our Constitution?
“This would be more in keeping with the coalition parties' pre-election promises than the limited Convention they authorised last year.”