Sinn Féin has officially launched its ‘Commission on the Future of Ireland’ with the party announcing that the inaugural People’s Assembly will take place in Belfast on October 12.
The Sinn Féin leadership agreed last summer to establish the commission, which they say is an ‘ambitious public, sectoral and private consultation’ on the future of the country.
The project will last for a year and a half, and will end with the publication of a commission report.
Sinn Féin’s party chairperson Declan Kearney has been appointed chair of the Commission and Senator Lynn Boylan will be deputy chair.
The Commission will accept submissions and hold both public and private engagements and actively seek contributions from all sections of society on this island and beyond.
The president of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, said she is inviting everyone to be part of planning the future and that ‘the New Ireland is for Everyone – Have Your Say’ is the main pillar of the commission.
“This is an opportunity for citizens to have their say on the future of Ireland; our economy, our constitutional arrangements; political and democratic structures and governance; the role of the Irish government; the rights and equality agenda; the protection of minorities; future economic and public policy models and a future all-island public health service,” said Deputy McDonald.
“The Commission will seek to engage with the protestant, loyalist, and unionist section of our people.”
She said that the Commission on the Future of Ireland is also an opportunity for alternative proposals to be presented by those with different visions of Ireland.
This can be done privately as well as through a series of People’s Assemblies and these will be moderated by an independent chairperson.
“Women’s assemblies, youth assemblies and assemblies in Gaeltacht areas will also be convened,” added Deputy McDonald.
“There will be an online submissions’ portal on the party website to enable members of the public, community groups, businesses and others to submit their thoughts on the new Ireland to the Commission.”