One thing that’s immediately obvious when spending any time in and around Leinster House is the general indifference towards a united Ireland. There is also a heavy workload facing the Oireachtas, especially in regard of monitoring EU directives. But Jarlath Kearney reports on Sinn Fein’s latest call for a Green Paper on the subject.
The party’s proposals to progress “practical planning for a united Ireland” include urging the Taoiseach’s office to bring forward a green paper within 12 months, which would involve an intensive consultation process across the island.
The draft green paper would then be referred to a specially constituted Oireachtas joint committee on Irish unity, to include input from political representatives across the island. A minister of state solely responsible for the progress and co-ordination of all-Ireland activity would also be appointed.
Sinn FÃ©in is calling for a substantial increase in the number of North-South bodies and in the resources made available to them, specifically the expansion of the North/South Ministerial Council and the existing implementation bodies.
The party also wants to see the establishment of an all-Ireland consultative civic forum and an all-Ireland interparliamentary forum â€” both of which were set out in the Good Friday agreement.