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Conway-Walsh calls for Seanad debate on the true cost of partition

22 November, 2016 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Speaking in the Seanad today, Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh called for a debate on the economics of Irish Unity

The Senator from Mayo said:

“I am pleased that the debate surrounding Irish Unity has moved to a real discussion of the ongoing costs of partition. It is no longer as simple as can we afford unity; it is a debate around whether we can afford continuing division.

“The recently published and peer-reviewed study ‘Modelling Irish Reunification’, authored by Professor Kurt Huebner from Vancouver University, examined the potential benefits of reunification.

“It is estimated that the island could benefit by up to €35 billion in the first years after unity. We must also address the flip side of this argument. Continuing with the status quo would deny the island such an economic boost. It is also not just an issue for Sinn Féin. It will impact us all.”

Senator Conway-Walsh specifically called for a debate in the Seanad involving the Minister for Finance in order to redress the failure thus far to focus on the cost of political division in Ireland, saying:

“I want to ask for a debate in this House and to invite the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to discuss the economic realities of Irish Unity.

“For far too long there has been a research gap on this issue. The Civil Service in this State has never properly prepared for even the possibility of unity on this island. There has never been a Green Paper on Irish Unity produced by the government of this State, despite promises to do so.

“There is much talk at the moment about the Government’s lack of preparation for the outcome of the Brexit vote, and it would be as foolish for the Government not to start planning for the next major constitutional change.” 

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