Monday, May 22, 2023

Hands across the divide derry

A quarter of a century ago we voted for peace.

Today the Constitutional Conversations Group (Colin Harvey, Eilish Rooney, Paddy Kelly, John Gormley, Mark Bassett) has issued the following statement.

Constitutional Conversations Group

Planning and Preparing for Constitutional Change in Ireland

22 May 2023

"On the 25th anniversary of the all-island vote endorsing the Good Friday Agreement it remains essential to recall the constitutional compromise at its heart. People have a choice about the determination of their own future, as a matter of right. Today that means automatic re-entry to the EU for the people of the North/NI.

The Constitutional Conversations Group reiterates our commitment to inclusive, participative and effective planning and preparation for change. We hope that one day soon the people of Ireland, North and South, will again have the opportunity to vote for something better.

We are encouraged by the scale of the work already completed. We commend those across civil society who have engaged in the necessary conversations. The debate is now in a different place.

We know that much more must be done. That is why today we urge the Irish Government to support and enable the required preparatory work. History demonstrates what happens when the Irish state avoids dealing directly with matters of profound national and public interest. Being a detached observer in the collective effort of shaping the future of your own country is reckless and irresponsible. Turning away dishonours the legacy of those who have courageously forged the pathway to peaceful and democratic constitutional change.

We look forward to the day when the people of this island will exercise their right to choose. We believe that a new and united Ireland will benefit everyone. We call on all sectors of Irish society to prepare well to ensure that this becomes a place we can be proud of. We believe that a particular responsibility rests with the Irish Government to demonstrate leadership in building and making a convincing case for change."

In recent years the CCG has held 'conversations' in Belfast, Dublin and Derry and have organised events at QUB and UU. You can read more about some of their previous output in this thread.

And you can read my GFA 25 coverage from April here:

The conversations about maintaining Northern Ireland's union with Britain or creating a new Ireland continue.

I will be at the centre of those conversations. It's too important to leave to extreme voices so if you are pro-union, pro-unity, neither, or something else entirely I am open to talk about sharing your stories, or hosting your events.



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