Sinn Féin councillor Aoife Finnegan has welcomed the passing of a motion by Newry Mourne and Down District Council calling on the Irish Government to establish a Citizens Assembly to plan and prepare for Irish Unity.
The Slieve Gullion councillor said:
“Tonight’s result is a very positive step forward in the discussion on a new united Ireland.
“Newry Mourne and Down District Council now adds its voice to that of Dublin City Council, Derry Strabane Council, Belfast City Council, Monaghan County Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and Donegal County Council in calling on the Taoiseach to set up the Citizens’ Assembly on Irish Unity.
“People in this district live every day with the reality of partition and it’s important that we have our say in the discussion on a new Ireland.
“The Citizens’ Assembly must be an inclusive forum and all who call this place home should be invited to participate.
“The Citizens’ Assembly provides the opportunity to share information and discuss important topics regarding the constitutional future of our Island.
“It’s imperative that there is no repeat of the disastrous Brexit referendum, that is why the planning must begin now.
“The opportunities presented by a new Ireland are too numerous to ignore. It is clear from recent research undertaken by Queen’s University Belfast and the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, that partition has stifled the northern economy. This cannot continue.
“The Irish government is constitutionally bound to pursue Irish unity and the establishment of the Citizens’ Assembly is the first step in the necessary planning and preparation to achieve this.”