Northern Ireland news

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

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín at his party's manifesto launch in west Belfast. Picture by Justin Kernoghan

AONTÚ has tabled a bill in the Dáil that would give speaking rights to Northern Ireland's 18 MPs.

The move coincided with yesterday's launch of the all-Ireland party's Westminster manifesto in west Belfast.

Aontú, which was formed earlier this year after Peadar Tóibín left Sinn Féin over its policy on abortion, is standing seven candidates in next week's general election.

The Meath West TD said a century ago Irish MPs refused to attend Westminster.

"However, they didn't stand idly by like Sinn Féin MPs do today – they went to Dublin and founded our National Parliament and gave representation to the all of the people," he said.

"The Dáil was created as a 32-county parliament and we in Aontú intend to make it so."

Mr Tóibín urged other parties in the Republic to "grasp this opportunity with us and create an all-Ireland Dáil for all".

He said Aontú was "now the only all Ireland party that seeks to protect the right to life of everyone in society".

The Aontú leader said an economic crisis across Ireland was "consuming so many people" and is being ignored by what he termed a "political cartel".

"If we continue to vote for the political cartel we will only embed deadlock and stalemate and the housing, health and poverty concerns of so many families would continue to be ignored. Aontú offers a real alternative to break the deadlock," Mr Tóibín said.

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Northern Ireland news