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Labour TD Dominic Hannigan
Labour TD Dominic Hannigan
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

People in Northern Ireland should have a say in new Irish constitution - TD

Labour TD for Meath East Dominic Hannigan says that the views of people in Northern Ireland has to be taken into account if there is a new constitutional convonvention.
Jan 20th 2012, 1:01 PM 3,251 107

CITIZENS IN NORTHERN Ireland should be involved in any plans to update Ireland’s constitution, a Labour TD has said.

Dominic Hannigan has said that any constitutional convention which is held to reform the constitution should include views from people in Northern Ireland.

The Labour Party has proposed a constitutional convention to update the Irish constitution, which came into force in 1937. The convention would see 30 Oireachtas members, 30 people with legal or academic expertise, and 30 citizens to help develop a new constitution.

The Meath East TD, who is chair of the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Committee, said that that the make up of the convention is “crucial” and an all-Ireland approach is necessary.

He suggested using the constituencies used in electing MEPS to the European Parliament to ensure citizens from across the island of Ireland have a say in the constitution.

“We need to ensure the broadest possible perspective of Irish society is represented. It won’t be enough to limit the franchise to citizens of the south. Why not use the European Parliament constituencies to allow all citizens the opportunity to take part in the convention,” said Hannigan.

Hannigan said that the constitution has served the country’s needs for 70 years but Ireland has moved on.

“As a nation we are ready to reframe the constitution for a modern society’s needs,” he said.

“With representation across Ireland – North and South, political and non-political – we can ensure that the Convention initiates a genuinely representative discussion in order to see real change for our country”.

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