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Taoiseach must consult opposition on Constitutional Convention without delay

21 February, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Responding to media reports that the cabinet have formally agreed on the establishment of the Constitutional Convention Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on the Taoiseach to make good on his promise to consult with opposition parties.

Deputy McDonald said:

“In early October of last year the Taoiseach told Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD that he hoped to announce the establishment of the Constitutional Convention after November’s Presidential election and that he would consult opposition before doing so.

“Now that the cabinet has finally signed off on the establishment of the constitutional convention the Taoiseach needs to now make good on his commitment to consult the opposition as a matter of urgency. If this Government is serious about the business of reform it needs to get the constitutional convention up and running.

“The Taoiseach also committed in the Dáil late last year that the constitutional convention will consider the issue of voting rights, including those of Irish citizens in the north, for future Presidential elections. It of some concern to me that this commitment is not reflected in tonight’s media reporting of the cabinets conclusions.

“Citizens across the diaspora must also be enabled to play their part in this constitutional convention. Sinn Féin has advocated consultations across the State and across the diaspora, which can be done by using our diplomatic services. Community and voluntary organisations must also be facilitated to play their part.

“Much has changed in Ireland since 1937, and changed absolutely.  It is in this context that we believe the convention must also consider an entirely new constitution.  

“Sinn Féin’s political reform document ‘Towards a New Republic’ details some of the proposals we will be discussing with the Taoiseach and will seek to progress within the constitutional convention.” 

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