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EU debate in Seanad highlights need to proceed with Northern Representation in the Oireachtas

18 May, 2005


Sinn Féin Dáil Group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has welcomed today's debate in the Seanad on the proposed EU Constitution but said that the decision not to invite MEPs from the Six Counties was short-sighted particularly given the fact that all of Ireland will be voting on this issue in referenda, north and south.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The proposed EU Constitution will have profound consequences for all of Ireland and it is vital that people across the island are included in the debate. Today's debate in the Seanad is very welcome but the decision not to include MEPs from the Six Counties was short-sighted particularly given the fact that all of Ireland will be voting on this issue in referenda, north and south.

"Sinn Féin believes that the potential benefits of an all-Ireland approach to the EU are immense particularly in terms of agriculture, economic development, infrastructure and structural funding. It makes sense that all 16 MEPs on the island debate the way forward together.

"It is also time for the Irish government to move ahead with their commitment to facilitiate Northern representation in the Oireachtas, something advocated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution." ENDS

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