To mark the centenary of the Seanad Éireann’s establishment, the upper house of the Oireachtas is undertaking a public consultation to consider future constitutional arrangements on the island of Ireland. The consultation and public hearings will give Senators an opportunity to listen to the voice of people across the island from all traditions and opinions.
The Council for Public Affairs, authorised by the General Assembly to speak on behalf of the Church and engage with statutory bodies, put forward to the Committee a number of observations, including:
- Careful conversations on the constitutional future of the island of Ireland should not presume a pre-determined direction of travel and must also allow for discussion about the changing nature of relationships across these islands, east and west, as well as north and south
- Practical considerations regarding constitutional change will be based on unstable foundations if the hurt and pain of the past is not acknowledged and recognised alongside very real fears about the future
- A singular focus on practical considerations risks side-stepping the harder conversations about cultural and social differences, and the even more difficult work of engaging hearts and minds
- Finding ways to include perspectives from ‘New Irish’ communities will enrich the Committee’s process.
Along with others, Rev Daniel Kane, Convener of PCI’s Council for Public Affairs, and the denomination’s Public Affairs Officer, Karen Jardine, were invited to attend the public hearings which took place at Leinster House, Dublin on 14 October 2022.
PCI’s submission is available to read here.
The news release, quoting Rev Daniel Kane, can be read here.