Irish Republican News · November 10, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Sinn Fein launch 10-point plan for Irish Unity
Sinn Fein launch 10-point plan for Irish Unity

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty MP speaking in Belfast said: ``Sinn Fein has made significant progress in advancing the all-Ireland agenda. Today we are setting out our ten point plan for Irish Unity.

``All-Ireland approaches and institutions are now universally accepted, even by the DUP. That in itself is significant progress. Sinn Fein intends to build on this through our Ten Point Plan for Irish Unity.''

Mr Doherty was joined at today's election event by two TDs, Caoimhghin O Caolain and Martin Ferris, Dublin European Parliament candidate Mary Lou McDonald and Newry and Armagh Assembly candidate Pat O`Rawe.

The West Tyrone MP said Sinn Fein was ``the third largest party on the island and the largest nationalist party in the north''.

He continued: ``Our political strength, our political representation across the island and our clear focus on Irish unity secured the establishment of the All-Ireland Ministerial Council and the all-Ireland institutional architecture of the Good Friday Agreement.

``We have a road map for Irish unity and the 10 point plan we are setting out today will take the united Ireland agenda decisively forward after this election.

The following is Sinn Fein's 10-point plan for Irish Unity:

  • A Green Paper for Irish Unity in the Dail
  • Attendance in the Dail for the 18 Westminster MPs
  • Northern representation in the Seanad
  • Votes for citizens in the Six Counties in Presidential elections
  • Building the work of the All-Ireland Ministerial Council
  • An All-Ireland Consultative Forum
  • An All-Ireland Charter of Rights
  • Integrated services and infrastructure along the border
  • Increased action, co-operation and harmonisation in Heath, Education and other key departments
  • Extension of the Irish passport scheme across the Six Counties

Caoimhghin O Caolain said his party was not looking for ``token representation'' in the Seanad, the upper chamber in the Dublin parliament, with the Taoiseach selecting a token nationalist or token unionist.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: ``What we want to see is a franchise extended to every citizen, not only in the Six Counties but throughout the island of Ireland.

``Many of you are aware that there is a most bizarre selection process for the Seanad. What we want to see is the right of people in Kerry and Derry, Monaghan and Antrim to have the opportunity to select from civic society and not the political leadership their representation in the Seanad.''

Mr O Caolain said the party wanted Westminster MPs to be able to attend Dail debates on issues affecting them.

He also wished to see people north of the border voting in Presidential Elections.

``We had the very odd situation in the last Presidential Election where the candidate and current President of Ireland, President Mary McAleese had not the opportunity to vote for herself,'' he said.

``We have another Presidential Election coming up and what we would like to see is the franchise extended to all citizens on the island of Ireland and we believe whatever technical difficulties there are can be overcome.''

The Sinn Fein TD would not be drawn on whether his party would field a candidate if there was a Presidential Election in the 26 Counties after Mrs McAleese`s seven year term had expired.

``It's something we haven`t considered but I have no doubt that at some time in the future there probably will be a Sinn Fein candidate for a President of All Ireland'', he said.

© 2003 Irish Republican News