Young members of Ógra Fianna Fáil are continuing to make their mark on the political landscape in South Down as they position themselves for future elections by calling for an all-island citizens’ assembly.
Tom Cahill, Uachtarán Ógra Fianna Fáil, said: “Ógra Fianna Fáil are delighted to put forward our priorities for the next government.
“We are making these proposals based on three fundamental premises:
- That in doing so does not imply our support for a coalition with Fine Gael.
- That as the youth wing of the Fianna Fáil party, we have a responsibility to highlight the issues facing young people within the party.
- That Ógra has engaged constructively with the parliamentary party on policy over the past two years and are prepared to continue that working relationship.
“As our first proposal, we are proposing that a Citizens’ Assembly be set up and Irish Unity be established to engage all communities across the island and to ensure that people are engaged in the process.
“The Citizens’ Assembly has to date brought about radical reform to Irish life and society, and we believe it is the best and most logical first step on the pathway to a United Ireland. It puts people at the centre and takes politics out of the process.
“It is evident that neither Fine Gael nor Sinn Féin can ever deliver a United Ireland. Fine Gael have shown little interest in the Six Counties with their leader even referring to Belfast as ‘over-seas’. And Sinn Féin’s toxic nature and approach is a turn off to both Unionists and many six-county Nationalists.”
Ruairí Cormican, Northern Organiser for Ógra Fianna Fáil, said: “It’s imperative that the discussion on a United Ireland is progressed in a constructive and inclusive way.
“In witnessing the negative impact of Brexit in the North first hand, we need to ensure that we have a plan ready for what a United Ireland will look like before a referendum takes place, and a Citizens’ Assembly is a key step in that process.”
Tara Savage, Cathaoirleach of Newry Mourne and Down Ógra, also commented, and said: “As a Cumann in a border constituency, we in Newry Mourne and Down Ógra welcome this statement from Ógra Fianna Fáil.
“The proposal of a Citizens’ Assembly on Irish unity has the potential to be part of a wider discussion that needs to take place on the island over the coming years.This needs to involve the views of unionists, nationalists and all traditions on this island in order to build a new Ireland for all.”