The Oireachtas has published its first report since the 1984 New Ireland Forum, on the achievement of a united Ireland.

“Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace and Prosperity” was published by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Good Friday Agreement.

According to its rapporteur, Senator Mark Daly, Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, the report detailed post-Brexit options for the island of Ireland.

Senator Daly added: “’Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace and Prosperity’ looked at the impact of Brexit on Ireland and what needed to happen in order to peacefully achieve a United Ireland.

Donegal TD, Charlie McConalogue (Fianna Fáil) reiterated Senator Daly’s comments.

He said: “There is significant support in Ireland in favour of a United Ireland, with some polls showing support in excess of 80 percent.

“’Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace and Prosperity’ is a step forward but it is only a start.

"We all need to do more to bring about a United Ireland through active consent. That process starts now.

Peaceful unification

“Of the 17 recommendations by the committee, one of the key ones is the need to establish a New Ireland Forum II, to set a pathway to achieve the peaceful unification of Ireland.

"This forum, in addition to hearing from those in favour of unity, must include Unionist voices and perspectives,” concluded Mr McConalogue.

Commenting on ‘Brexit and the Future of Ireland’, Gaeltacht Minister Joe McHugh (Fine Gael) said Brexit could not be allowed “to scupper” Peace Process gains.

He added: “As a Donegal man who is witnessing my own county moving into a new positive space, as a direct consequence of peace, I want to protect the gains.

"A border, any border outside of the existing arrangements is too big a price to pay.

“Whatever Brexit brings, the EU has a responsibility to future-proof the peace process and must be constantly reminded of its role and reminded that every person in

"Northern Ireland has a right under the Good Friday Agreement to Irish Citizenship, and therefore, EU citizenship.

"The peace process and free movement allows thousands of cross-Border journeys for work every day between Donegal and Derry.

"For example, more than 10 per cent of staff on Derry City & Strabane District Council lives in the Republic. It is vital that this continues. You cannot put a checkpoint up stopping this.

"Any slowdown in the movement of people and goods is unacceptable to citizens on both sides of the Border.

“The cancer care centre at Altnagelvin and the cardiac unit there now treat hundreds of patients from Donegal, many from Inishowen. More lives are being saved in ways we never expected as a result of the peace process."

Donegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (Sinn Féin) described the Oireachtas report as “a good start”.

He said: “The current debate around Brexit demonstrates again the folly of the border and the partition of this island.

"No where has suffered more from the effects of partition than Inishowen and the North West border region.

"Two economies, two taxation systems, two health systems, two education systems, developed on a small island of 6.5 million people, back to back, over the years, does not make sense.

“It is a duplication of vital resources and fails our people and our communities, particularly along the border.”

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