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Preparing for Irish Unity - Sinn Féin All-Ireland Parliamentary Group holds first meeting in Dublin

11 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Dáil Group Leader Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, has described the establishment of the party's All-Ireland Parliamentary Group as an important part of our programme preparing for Irish Unity and said "it will have as its ultimate aim the creation of an all-Ireland national parliament."

Deputy Ó Caoláin said: "Today is the inaugural meeting of Sinn Féin's All-Ireland Parliamentary Group. It is an important initiative and is a logical step given the universal acceptance of all-Ireland approaches and political institutions.

"While Sinn Féin TDs and MLAs have been meeting for some time now, to discuss policies and issues of mutual concern, this is the first time that a parliamentary forum has been formally set up within the party. It will have a number of key aims including:

The coming together of our TD s and Assembly members to develop legislation on an all-Ireland basis;

  • Driving Sinn Féin's all-Ireland strategy;
  • Working for the creation of an all-Ireland national parliament;
  • Implementing our 10-point plan for Irish unity launched during the Assembly elections;
  • Developing our strategy document 'Reunification through Planned Integration'.
  • Increased cross border co-operation in order to minimise the negative impact the border has on the social and economic life of the island.

"This work will happen on a community, local and regional basis and also involve Local Government, the Dáil, the Assembly and the all Ireland institutions. It would logically lead to much more co-operation, and pooled sovereignty, in areas such as energy, communications, agriculture and rural development, tourism, transport, environment, education and health.

"We do not underestimate the challenges that lie ahead in all of this but we are determined to build on the progress which has already been made.

"Sinn Féin has a roadmap for Irish Unity and the establishment of our new All-Ireland Parliamentary Forum will take the United Ireland agenda decisively forward." ENDS

Sinn Féin 10 Point Plan for Irish Unity

Sinn Féin is setting the All-Ireland agenda and preparing for Irish Unity through:

  • A Green Paper for Irish Unity in the Dáil
  • Attendance in the Dáil for the 18 Westminster MPs
  • All-Ireland democratic representation in the Seanad
  • Votes for citizens in the six counties in Presidential elections
  • Building the work of the All-Ireland Ministerial Council
  • An All-Ireland Consultative Forum
  • An All-Ireland Charter of Rights
  • Integrated services and infrastructure along the border
  • Increased action, co-operation and harmonisation in Heath, Education and other key departments
  • Extension of the Irish passport scheme across the six counties

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