Monday, August 01, 2005


Sinn Fein welcomes speaking rights

Government proposals to allow MPs and MEPs from Ireland's north to debate in the Dáil would be a welcome recognition of the rights of Irish citizens north of the border, Sinn Féin claimed today.

West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty, who would be among 21 politicians who would qualify, welcomed reports that Bertie Ahern’s Government will embark on plans in the autumn to allow 18 MPs and three MEPs from Ireland's north to take part in Dáil debates on issues affecting their region.

"The Irish Government have given commitments to facilitate this, as an expression of the right of northern nationalists, of Irish citizens, to participation in the political life of the nation," said Mr Doherty.

"I welcome any move by the Irish Government to give effect to these commitments," he added.

I too welcome these plans and think it is a great idea by the Irish government and one that should have been implemented long ago. Irish citizens from Down, Derry, Armagh, Antrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone are just as significant to the Irish nation as citizens from Dublin, Cork, Donegal or Galway. It is time we acknowledged the Irish nation.

I just hope Ahern delivers on his promise and doesn't give in to Unionist pressure. This move needs to happen this Autumn. Ahern better not break his promise...


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