National Forum must be established - Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the Taoiseach to “meet speedily with party leaders in the Dáil to discuss the establishment of a national Forum to discuss a coordinated and agreed approach to the crisis created by the Brexit vote in Britain.”
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“In the course of today’s Dáil business three opposition leaders expressed their support for a national Forum. There is clearly a consensus that maximum cooperation and coordination is needed across the island of Ireland to meet the many challenges arising from the Brexit vote.
“The British referendum result is probably the most serious political and economic crisis to face this island in many years. This decision is bad for the island of Ireland, North and South.
“On Monday the two Ministers for Health jointly announced a forty-two million pound investment in an all-Ireland children’s heart service at the opening of a new cardiac unit in Dublin. That is good for Ireland North and South.
“In correspondence to the Taoiseach last week I proposed that the government work with the Executive and all of the parties on the island to establish a National Forum. Its objective would be to discuss how the ‘remain’ vote of the clear majority of citizens in the north will be respected and defended.
“In his response today the Taoiseach accepted that it was ‘a good idea’ and an ‘idea with merit’. In this context the DUP rejection of it must not be allowed to stand in the way of its establishment.
“The ‘remain’ vote, like the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, uniquely brought together unionists, nationalists, republicans and others in common cause.
“I also believe that there will be enormous goodwill for a Forum that seeks to defend the North’s vote to remain and to protect the peace process, the Good Friday Agreement, its institutions and the two economies on this island.
“I have no doubt that civic unionism and civic society in general will attend along with representatives from our agriculture sector, including the agri-food sector, business and the community and voluntary sector, alongside others.”