WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? – SF COUNCILLOR’S CHALLENGE TO CO COUNCIL MEMBERS WHO OPPOSED IRISH REUNIFICATION MOTION

14 September 2019 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Peter Hughes

“I wonder why there is a fear about talking about a United Ireland?” pondered aloud Sinn Féin’s Pat Treanor at the September meeting of Monaghan Co Council in reference to the dissenting voices among Council members from other political orientations that were heard during a debate on a motion he had tabled concerning Irish reunification. The motion was defeated 6-7 on a show of hands vote when it was put to the meeting. It read: “The discussion on Brexit has refocused on the issue of partition and a possible scenario with one part of Ireland being in the EU and another part outside the EU. This would be an intolerable situation for the people of Co Monaghan and of Ireland.

“That Monaghan Co Council writes to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney TD proposing that: (a) the Irish Government insists on a special status for the North of Ireland within the EU throughout the negotiations with all stakeholders; (b) the Irish Government leads a debate on the peaceful reunification of Ireland; (c) analyses and promotes the benefits of a united Ireland, and (d) appoints a Minister for Reunification.” “We are facing unprecedented times,” Councillor Treanor stated when moving the motion. “Uncertainty creates a vacuum, which is dangerous for everyone.” With regard to Brexit, he stated that there would have to be a Border somewhere and the backstop would have to deal with that, but there was still a need to debate the issue of partition.

Referring to recent reports which advocated that the reunification of Ireland be considered, Councillor Treanor rejected the notion that this would be an affront to Unionist politicians or that it would be insulting for them to raise the issue. “We should all get involved in the debate,” he declared. Seconding the motion, SF’s Sean Conlon referred to an All-Party Oireachtas Group report on reunification, and regretted that very little action had …

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