08 February 2006

OMAGH DISTRICT COUNCIL DECLARES FOR IRISH UNITY- STRABANE TO FOLLOW SUIT

Sinn Féin

Published: 8 February, 2006

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Cllr Barry Mc Elduff says that last night Omagh District Council officially declared for Irish Unity and that Strabane District Council is almost certain to follow suit next Tuesday night.

He issued the statement following the passing of a Sinn Féin motion challenging An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his Dublin government administration "to begin to pro-actively pursue all-Ireland agenda policies in accordance with the democratically expressed wishes of the majority of Irish citizens in this part of the 32 counties"

The motion was passed with: 9 Sinn Féin councillors voting for, 6 unionists voting against, 1 independent abstaining with the 3 SDLP and the other independent councillor absenting themselves from the debate.

Speaking following the successful passing of the motion Barry Mc Elduff said,

"Last night's Council decision is a highly significant statement showing that the majority of people of this area want Irish Unity. It also sends a powerful message to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the Dublin government administration that we expect the same rights and entitlements as Irish citizens in the 26 counties and that we expect the Dublin government to begin to pro-actively pursue initiatives, policies and strategies aimed at achieving a United Ireland, which is the stated objective of all nationalist parties on this island.

"This message will undoubtedly be reinforced when this motion is debated in Strabane District Council next Tuesday. We can no longer be treated as second-class Irish citizens in our own country and the primary onus is on An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his administration to bring us into a new era of
equality and to begin to take a lead in planning for Irish Unity.

Motion to Omagh and Strabane District Councils

Propose that:

· This Council welcomes the fact the Irish Unity is now the stated objective of all nationalist parties on the island of Ireland including the present Irish government administration.

· This Council therefore believes that An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD has a unique responsibility in giving practical expression to his administration's and nationalist Ireland's stated objective on the issue by immediately commissioning a Green Paper on Irish Unity: a paper focussing on the compelling logic of this outcome in political, social and economic terms as well as spelling out what pro-active strategy his government is going to undertake in pursuance of the stated objective of nationalist Ireland.

· This Council further calls on An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD to an initiate a holistic consultation process amongst all sectors of society north and south to assist in the formulation of a Green Paper.

· This Council further calls on An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD to give immediate effect to the Constitution's recognition of the entitlement of every person born on the island of Ireland to be part of the Irish nation by legislating for: six county representation in Dáil Éireann, the right of people in the six counties to vote in national referenda on articles of the Constitution and the right to vote in Presidential elections.

· This Council communicates the above requests in writing to An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD.


Notes to Editors:

· Omagh Council has at least a 13/6 Republican/ Nationalist majority: 10 Sinn Féin, 3 SDLP, 3 DUP, 3 UUP, 2 Ind (From nationalist background but politically unclassified). Full monthly meeting of ODC takes place on Tuesday7th February.

· Strabane Council has an 11/5 Republican/Nationalist majority: 8 Sinn Féin, 2 SDLP, 1Ind Nat, 3 DUP, 2 UUP.- Fill monthly meeting of SDC takes place on Tuesday 14th February

· Sinn Féin launched its Green paper on Irish Unity in February 2005

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