North Antrim Council declares its support for Irish unity
Last night North Antrim's Moyle Council joined with Omagh and Strabane District Councils in declaring its support for Irish unity and agreed to send a letter to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD, asking him to be more proactive in pursuing All-Ireland agenda policies.
The motion was passed at last night‚s monthly Council meeting. The motion had the support of Sinn Féin and 2 SDLP Councillors. One SDLP Councillor, Catherine McCambridge, broke ranks with her party and abstained. Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Féin Councillor, Cara McShane, said she welcomed the decision to send a letter to Bertie Ahern.
Cllr McShane said:
"Irish Unity is the stated objective of all nationalist and republican parties on the island of Ireland including the present Irish government administration. This proposal is challenging Bertie Ahern to put his money where his mouth is. It is a challenge to An Taoiseach to be more pro-active in pursuing the All-Ireland agenda policies and to move on from the long and drawn-out rhetorical stage. The passing of this motion clearly sends out a signal to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that he must start acting on the democratically expressed wishes of its Irish citizens in this part of the 32 Counties.
"While I am not shocked that Unionist representatives were vocal in their opposition to the motion, as they often are with any policy which promotes All-Ireland Co-operation, I trust that they accept that it is a legitimate right to pursue the objective of Irish Unity through political and democratic means. This motion is a legitimate mechanism through which to achieve this objective. Moyle Council is far from being a Œcold house for unionists‚ as was suggested at last night‚s meeting. In-fact Moyle has an excellent track record of good relations within the Council and All-Ireland co-operation.
„This motion is clearly challenging Bertie Ahern to spell out what pro-active strategy his government is going to undertake in pursuance of the stated objective of a United Ireland. The support of Moyle Council in North Antrim to take An Taoiseach to task over the stated objective, quite blatantly shows the present Irish government administration that Ireland does not stop at the border.‰ ENDS
Note to Editor
The motion proposed was:
This Council welcomes the fact that Irish Unity is now the stated objective of all nationalist parties on the island of Ireland including the present Irish government administration.
This Council therefore believes that An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD has a unique responsibility in giving practical expression to his administration‚s and nationalist Ireland‚s stated objective on the issue by immediately commissioning a green paper on Irish unity.
This Council further calls on An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD to initiate a holistic consultation process amongst all sectors of society north and south to assist in the formulation of a green paper.
This Council further calls on An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD to give immediate effect to the constitution‚s recognition of the entitlement of every person born on the island of Ireland to be part of the Irish nation by legislating for: Six County representation in Dáil Éireann, the right of people in the Six Counties to vote in national referenda on articles of the constitution and the right to vote in presidential elections.
This Council communicates the above requests in writing to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD.