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.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty