Belfast Telegraph

Aontu bid to grant Northern Ireland MPs right to speak in Dail

Peadar Toibin
Peadar Toibin
Suzanne Breen

By Suzanne Breen

The anti-abortion republican party Aontu is seeking speaking rights in the Dail for MPs elected in next week's Westminster poll.

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Party leader Peadar Toibin said it was an opportunity for practical all-Ireland politics as he launched his party's manifesto in Belfast yesterday.

Aontu is standing candidates in five constituencies.

The party has tabled a new Bill in the Dail which, if passed, would secure speaking rights for Northern Ireland MPs.

Mr Toibin, a former Sinn Fein TD who formed Aontu in January, said: "One hundred years ago, Irish MPs, North and South, refused to attend Westminster.

"However, they didn't stand idly by like Sinn Fein MPs do today. They went to Dublin and founded our national parliament and gave representation to all of the people.

"We have launched the first Bill since partition to give speaking rights to MPs elected in the North of Ireland.

"If passed, it would mean that MPs from each of the 18 constituencies in the North would be able to represent their constituents in the Oireachtas."

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