Unionists have to be assured Cupboard seats in united Eire
There must be a guarantee of cabinet seats for trade unionists from the north in a unified Irish government, Labor leader Jack O’Connor will say today.
In a May 1 address to the party’s union membership, Mr. O’Connor, a former head of the Irish Union Congress, calls for the guarantee of a significant number of union ministers in all governments in a future “divided Ireland” in the event of the union.
In his speech, seen by the, Mr. O’Connor will also advocate the retention of delegated authority in the north, with the provision for “one opposition” but with cabinet posts that will be distributed “strictly 50:50” in a cross-community administration.
Recalling a recent speech by Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan on the need for a new constitution and unionist ministries in the event of unification, Mr O’Connor will say that he “strongly supports” these proposals.
“Most importantly, he proposes that ‘unionist’ ministers be called for in all post-reunification governments. He also advocates maintaining the current regulations for the recognition of British and Irish citizenship as well as an increased “east-west” dimension. I strongly support this, “he will say:
These provisions should be backed up by calling for majorities in both communities across the island to be changed at every referendum, O’Connor argues.
“Our job, however, is to assert the centrality of the issues that determine the quality of life for all people on this island. Therefore, today, on International Labor Day, I urge you to turn to trade unionists in the North and South and other leftists to promote the idea of a common platform for this purpose and to avoid any semblance of sectarian majoritarianism, ”he said to say.
The proposal for such a platform must involve a complete break with the past and outline a formula for the division of our island based on the principle of absolute and complete equivalence, Mr O’Connor will say.
He will propose that these principles could be endorsed by the people of the republic in a referendum before any border poll.