Wednesday, February 15, 2006


'What If'? Wednesday - SDLP proposals

One island, one nation On Monday I commented on my support for the SDLP's 24-page document, "North-South makes sense".

I'm pleased to see that Sinn Féin have also welcomed the publication.

Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said nationalists on the island were closer than ever to a consensus on an all-Ireland agenda.

"On many of the issues we addressed, there is a clear consensus between the SDLP and ourselves. This is very important. It means that, together and with the two governments, we can work to achieve progress.

"Peter Hain recognises the need to move ahead on the all-Ireland agenda.

"Dermot Ahern has called for the development of infrastructural, economic, energy, educational and social structures on an all-Ireland basis," he added.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the suspension of the North's assembly had frustrated the development of cross-border co-operation enshrined in the Agreement.

"We believe deeply in the power of all-Ireland co-operation.

"We believe in North-South. It is not just as Irish nationalists but also as taxpayers, as service users and as citizens who want the best public services and economic prospects," he said.

The SDLP's proposals include:

• A new all-Ireland transport and infrastructure body
• An all-Ireland approach to truth and reconciliation that is victim-centred and victim-led
• An all-Ireland research alliance
• Maximising shared use of and access to specialist health services
• Acceleration of the all-Ireland energy market
• An all-Ireland animal health strategy
• An islandwide strategy to promote the waste-management concept of "reduce, reuse and recycle"
• A public safety body
• An all-Ireland anti-poverty strategy.

I must say I wholeheartedly welcome the SDLP's proposals and I am delighted to see Sinn Féin welcome them as well. I believe that a United Ireland is what this island needs and I believe the best way to make that case is to convince unionists that all-Ireland cooperation is a good thing. With that being said, I think the question needs to be asked:

What if these proposals are implemented? Will they increase the chances of Irish reunification?

What do you think?


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2008 United Irelander.