Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Dublin vetoing national democracy?

Time to allow Northern MPs sit here? As the North's parties get used to speaking to each other once more, I found this article in Daily Ireland by Gearoid O Caireallain to be pretty interesting.

He suggests that regardless of what happens with the DUP, the Irish government can help out people in the North considerably by allowing elected MPs to sit at the Dáil.

O Caireallain writes:

"The DUP may well decide that they would be better served by staying clear of a Stormont Assembly with its powersharing Executive. They have nine MPs at Westminster, and perhaps their sights are set on a bigger target than Stormont.

"Just say Tony Blair goes early next year and Gordon Brown takes over the Labour Party and the British government. The new man will have to confirm his mandate at the poles and in the ensuing General Election, the DUP might well end up holding the balance of power between Labour and the Tories, whichever one of them is in power.

"The next British government could well depend upon DUP votes, and I would say that Paisley, Robinson, Donaldson and crew will be well able to use that situation to their best advantage.

"But just say this. Just say that duly elected MPs from the Six Counties were also allowed to sit in the Dáil. The Unionists may well boycott such a set up but who cares? As a Northern nationalist I would be delighted to be able to see my chosen representative sit in the Dáil.

"With democratically elected representatives from both communities sitting in the Dáil and Westminster, the two governments could easily set up a system of committees to oversee the governance of the North. It would not be a United Ireland, so it should be acceptable to Unionists, but it would turn Dáil Éireann into an all-Ireland government, and that would be good enough for me.

"Just imagine it – the North being run on a joint basis by the two governments with elected representatives from the Six Counties entitled to sit in both national parliaments, with all powers including policing and justice, economic development, roads, education, tourism, culture… the lot vested in the democratically controlled committees. And the system would be further complemented by the new, seven district local council set up.

"The only stumbling block, the only barricade on the road, the only problem is the Irish government. Its not the Brits, its not imperialism or colonialism, or even Unionism - it’s the Irish government that has the power to allow democratically elected Irish representatives from North East Ireland take part in the national parliament of Ireland. Its not the Unionist veto, but the Irish veto we have to fight to achieve national democracy."

What do you make of Mr O'Caireallain's views?


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