Calls for a second New Ireland Forum

Posted By: August 02, 2017

Connla Young. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A joint oireachtas committee has called for the establishment of another New Ireland Forum more than 30 years after the first.

Details are contained in a report which is due to be launched today in Dublin which provides options for the island of Ireland in the wake of Brexit.

The report, Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and It’s People in Peace and Prosperity, was ratified by the all-party Joint Committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement last month.

The report makes 17 recommendations including the need to set up of a “New Ireland Forum 2’ set a pathway to achieve the peaceful unification of Ireland.”

It says that in addition to hearing from those who support a united Ireland, the forum must also include unionist voices.

A recommendation to set up another New Ireland Forum comes more than three decades after the first one was established by then Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald.

That forum involved most nationalist parties and produced a report recommending alternative political structures which at the time were dismissed by the British.

The oireachtas committee report says there is significant support in Ireland in favor of unity with some polls showing those in favor in more than 80 percent.

Committee member and Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly said the report is just the first step.

“This step forward is only the start,” he said.

“We all need to do more to bring about a united Ireland through active consent. “That process starts now.”

Submissions included in the report were made by a wide range of people including a former captain in the UDR who highlighted concerns held by the unionist community.