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FF TD: United Ireland could celebrate The Twelfth and rejoin Commonwealth



Deputy Malcolm Byrne

Deputy Malcolm Byrne

Deputy Malcolm Byrne

A Fianna Fáil TD has suggested that a united Ireland could rejoin the Commonwealth, make July 12 a public holiday and reserve 30pc of Cabinet positions for unionists.

Wexford TD Malcolm Byrne said he was supportive of his Fianna Fáil colleague Stephen Donnelly's call for preparations for an Irish unity referendum to be ramped up in the wake of the UK general election.

Mr Byrne said that there needed to be an "agreed" Ireland which would involve difficult decisions so that people from a unionist background felt part of a new country.

"That may mean a new national anthem or Ireland considering membership of the Commonwealth. Do we need to look at making July 12 a public holiday on the whole island and having a greater understanding of that period in both Irish and European history?" Mr Byrne said.

"The late Albert Reynolds once suggested that we could reserve 30pc of cabinet places for those from a unionist tradition - that could prove to be a very visionary statement."

He said nationalists and republicans will need to make institutions "inclusive" for a unionist minority.

Mr Donnelly said this week that the Government needed to come up with a detailed plan for unity after claiming England "couldn't give a fiddler's" about the North.

He said the Government should follow the example of the Scottish government, which has published plans for what an independent Scotland would look like.

Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond said the comments by the Fianna Fáil health spokesman were "utterly reckless" amid the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.

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