Republic of Ireland news

New Dublin government could see Dáil speaking rights for Northern Ireland MPs

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald is to begin talks with other parties about forming a new government. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

A NEW Dublin government with a greater all-island focus could usher in major changes including Dáil speaking rights for Northern Ireland MPs.

Voting rights could also be secured for northern citizens in presidential elections along with greater development towards Irish unity, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín said last night.

The former Sinn Féin representative plans to relaunch a private members bill that aims to give Northern Ireland's 18 Westminster representatives speaking rights in the southern parliament.

The Meath West TD told The Irish News the prospect of government led by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin now made it a "much more realistic goal".

"Likewise, voting rights in the presidential election would be secured easier in the new-look Dáil."

Sinn Féin has said it will start talking to other parties today about forming a workable government coalition.

The party caused a political earthquake by securing 37 seats in Saturday's election – just one behind Fianna Fáil and two ahead of Fine Gael.

While it would be numerically possible for Mary Lou McDonald to head a 'rainbow' coalition excluding the two establishment parties, some independent TDs are vociferous critics of her party and Labour leader Brendan Howlin has ruled out going into government with Sinn Féin.

Read More: Aontú launches bill to give Dáil speaking rights to north's MPs

A coalition of Fianna Fail, Sinn Féin and the Greens - which ended with 12 seats - is seen as a more realistic prospect.

Sinn Féin announced last night that Donegal TD Pearse Doherty would head its negotiating team.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access

Republic of Ireland news