A SINN Féin MEP has called on the Irish government to establish an all-island Citizens Assembly to look at constitutional change on the island of Ireland.
Midlands North-West Chris MacManus was speaking at the planting of a ‘Crann na Saoirse’ (tree for unity) at the Jim Gralton Monument in Effrinagh, south Leitrim, alongside Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald and members of the Gralton family.
Jim Gralton (17 April 1886 – 29 December 1945) was an Irish socialist leader who became a United States citizen after emigrating in 1909 and, later, the only Irishman ever deported from independent Ireland.
“Our constitutional future is being discussed by people from all walks of life in both public and private gatherings, formal and informal, across the island of Ireland," he said. "Europe is no different. As an MEP, I can tell you that without a doubt, decision makers from across EU are paying close attention to the debate on Irish Unity.”
“In Brussels, like in many parts of Ireland, the conversation is moving more and more from ‘When Ireland is reunited’ rather than ‘if’. That is why I am calling on the Irish Government to establish an all-island Citizens Assembly that would include our diaspora to look at constitutional change on the island of Ireland.”
MacManus concluded by saying that the EU should also play a role in discussions around re-unification.
“As an MEP I have repeatedly expressed in Brussels, that the EU Institutions must also engage with civic society from across the island of Ireland so we know exactly what supports would be available to ensure a smooth transition from partition to Irish unity.”