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Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Young Voices on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I thank everybody who has spoken so far. It has been enjoyable and informative. This must be a conversation as well. We are here primarily to listen. In our capacity as members of this committee, it is important that we do listen. Therefore, I wish to try to tease out some of the issues raised. Caitlin spoke about voting at 16, and appropriately so, because we have tried several times in...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Young Voices on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I thank the witnesses for that round of contributions. There was a lot to absorb in it. There were a few takeaways for me. Ms Myers spoke about the really important issue of EU rights, entitlements, protections and so on. I wonder whether she sees what we are debating today with regard to constitutional change and our constitutional future as an important issue for young people in the...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Young Voices on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Was that anger?

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Young Voices on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: If 16-year-olds were able to vote tomorrow, would government policy change?

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Young Voices on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I agree. We should not have a referendum or a vote next week or next year, but is what we are doing today not part of those discussions? We are advocating for discussion and we are having a discussion in the Chamber with a broad group of people. The big Ireland's Future event will take place in Dublin tomorrow. I am not saying that this is the be-all and end-all. Personally, that debate...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Voices of All Communities on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Hear, hear.

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Voices of All Communities on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach agus lenár gcuairteoirí chomh maith as an gcur i láthair. I acknowledge Reverend Kyle Paisley’s use of cúpla focal in this Chamber. We had Linda Ervine here a few months ago for Seachtain na Gaeilge. Before we get into the constitutional issues, I want to make the point that the Irish language is a great unifier in...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Voices of All Communities on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: My apologies; I had to step out of the meeting briefly so I did not catch all of the contributions. My questions are for any of the witnesses to answer. There was reference to the mechanics of some of this stuff and how people envisage that. In terms of issues of identity, respect and creating space, what is not a parallel process but can almost be done in parallel is the issue of the...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Voices of All Communities on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Go raibh maith agat arís a Chathaorlaigh agus go raibh maith agaibh go léir. These will probably be my final remarks for today. Senator Currie makes an important point in reminding us that this is going to culminate in a report which is as much our guests' as it is ours. That is the strength of this process. We wanted to play our role as a political institution but also as an...

Seanad Public Consultation Committee: Voices of All Communities on the Constitutional Future of the Island of Ireland: Discussion (30 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: The Cathaoirleach knows I love a dialogue. I have two points. On the issue of fear and concerns, the fibre of my political being is about constitutional change and Irish unity. I am unapologetic about that. However, I understand entirely that there are fears out there. That said, I do not think anyone's fear should trump anyone's aspirations and I do not think anyone's aspirations should...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I also want to give my regards to the German ambassador and acknowledge the importance of Germany's national day. Through him, I also thank the German Government and the German people for the important and steadfast support for the Good Friday Agreement and our peace process after the fallout from Brexit. It has been key along with the support member states across the EU. I am sure we can...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I second that amendment.

Seanad: Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Just wait.

Seanad: Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Let me just count my pages.

Seanad: Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: The Leas-Chathaoirleach will be glad to hear that I will not use it all-----

Seanad: Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill 2022: Second Stage (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: -----but I do want to get some of this on the record. Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire Stáit as a bheith linn. Tá fáilte roimhe. I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Bretton Woods Agreements (Amendment) Bill. As the Minister of State knows, Sinn Féin supported the Bill's passage through the Dáil and we will support its passage through the Seanad as well....

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Architects of the Good Friday Agreement (Resumed): Mr. Mark Durkan (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Do not worry about that.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Architects of the Good Friday Agreement (Resumed): Mr. Mark Durkan (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: It was a bit of both, to be fair. There is shared responsibility on that. Mr. Durkan is welcome back. I know he was a long-standing and engaged member of this committee and he is familiar with its work. I thank him for his presentation. I apologise for missing his contribution as I was in the Seanad Chamber, but I read his submission. There are a couple of issues I wish to raise and I...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Architects of the Good Friday Agreement (Resumed): Mr. Mark Durkan (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: I agree. That aspect of the Good Friday Agreement has to prevail in any post-unity scenario, that is, respecting people's right to identify, be accepted and give expression to that identity and that national identity, whatever it might be. In the same way that it has to be more than giving people of a British tradition passports, surely in the context of the Good Friday Agreement provision...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement: Architects of the Good Friday Agreement (Resumed): Mr. Mark Durkan (29 Sep 2022)

Niall Ó Donnghaile: Apologies.

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