Essential role for Europe in managing constitutional change in Ireland – Kearney
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has called for the support of European democratic and progressive parties in helping to secure Irish unity.
Speaking at the 7th Congress of the European Left in Vienna today, Declan Kearney said:
“Constitutional change in Ireland is being increasingly viewed as the means by which to deliver real economic and social change in the interests of all citizens.
“That is to transform health and social care through an Irish national health service; to guarantee the rights of all citizens within a new constitutional settlement; and for a united Ireland to rejoin the Europe Union.
“If Brexit teaches us anything, it is that constitutional change requires planning and foresight so that Ireland does not repeat the mistakes made during that referendum.
“Sinn Féin and other significant voices within Irish society are campaigning for the Irish government to establish an all island Citizens’ Assembly on future constitutional change.
“A Citizens’ Assembly will be an important stepping stone towards securing a unity referendum and shaping the future of Ireland.
“It would provide a forum to initiate all-island planning on issues such as the economy, health and education, policing and justice, and the protection of identity and cultural rights.
“The Irish government should start preparing and planning for the transition to a united Ireland now. It makes common sense.
Emphasising the important role of European democrats in the past and for the future, the Sinn Féin National Chairperson said;
“European democrats and progressives and from elsewhere, helped us develop the peace process in Ireland. Now we are appealing for the support of all progressive political and civic forces across Europe, and in the European Parliament to help advance the process of future constitutional change.
“Brexit, and British government attempts to rip up the Protocol, and its repeated threats to break international law, have made the division of Ireland, and our island’s future, a European issue.
“European democrats have an important role to play again in helping us navigate the transition towards a united Ireland, and to bring all of Ireland back into the heart of Europe.”