Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has launched the Sinn Féin Commission on the Future of Ireland with the announcement that the inaugural People’s Assembly will take place in Belfast on 12th October in the Waterfront Hall between 7pm and 9pm.
Last summer the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle agreed to establish The Commission on the Future of Ireland. An ambitious public, sectoral and private consultation on the future of Ireland was planned. However, Sinn Féin say the worsening situation around the Covid pandemic meant that this had to be postponed.
The project will last for a year and a half and will conclude with the publication of a Commission Report.
The Commission will accept submissions and hold both public and private engagements and actively seek contributions from all sections of society in Ireland and abroad.
Sinn Féin President @MaryLouMcDonald has today launched the Sinn Féin Commission on the Future of Ireland.— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) July 18, 2022
The inaugural People’s Assembly will take place in Belfast on October 12 in the Waterfront Hall between 7pm and 9pm.https://t.co/iwTOcY9SbH pic.twitter.com/lHDNBn191X
‘The New Ireland is for Everyone – Have Your Say’, will be the theme 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," says Mary Lou McDonald.
“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. These will be moderated by an independent chairperson."
Sinn Féin say an online submissions portal will be created 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.
In July 2020, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said his party would form an All-Ireland Forum as Sinn Féin was "too toxic" to lead the discussion around the reunification of the country. In October 2022, Taoiseach Micheal Martin launched the Shared Island initiative which pledged to provide funding for cross-border projects and "engage with all communities and traditions to build consensus around a shared future".