Tuesday, 20 January 2004
European Presidency: Statements.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
Eighty five years ago, on 21 January 1919, the first Dáil Éireann met and declared the independence of the Irish republic. In its message to the free nations of the world, the Dáil stated: "The permanent peace of Europe can never be secured by perpetuating military dominion for the profit of empire but only by establishing control of Government in every land upon the basis of the free will of a free people." It is a sad reality that 85 years later many in the political establishment here are more concerned with creating a united states of Europe than with completing the work of the first Dáil and achieving a united Ireland. In the Irish Presidency programme, the Government speaks of the historic ending of the post-war division of Europe, but what about ending the division of Ireland?