Eire Nua - a new beginning for Ireland

From Eire Nua essays first published in the 1980's

 

For eight hundred years, Ireland has been home to invasions, plunder, rebellion, famine, civil war, social unrest and political upheaval. Until the arrival of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland was, to all intent and purposes, underdeveloped with high levels of emigration, unemployment and poverty. 

A realistic assessment of Ireland today would reveal the existence of two sectarian British established political entities, huge government debts and economics model totally dependant on foreign investment. Not withstanding the so-called peace agreements, embraced by the Provos, the situation regarding the ongoing British occupation of the six northeastern counties remains unresolved and will continue to foster resistance by true Irish republicans, and retaliatory human and civil rights violations by the authorities in both sectarian enclaves.

 For most of the past century, successive Irish governments have failed to lead Ireland to its rightful place in the family of free and prosperous nations. In fact this was never the intent. The resources in both human and monetary terms needed to achieve Irish reunification were expended to an exorbitant degree on maintaining the 1920/1 British imposed partition of Ireland. Until such time as the people of Ireland are free to pool their resources and work together as one entity nothing will change. The Sunningdale, Hillsborough and Good Friday agreements are meaningless as long as Ireland remains divided.

Although the vast majority of Irish people reject any type of union with Britain six of Ireland's thirty-two counties remain under British control. This forced arrangement has severely damaged Ireland's economic potential on both skies of the border. The people of the twenty-six counties have been paying more taxes per capita to maintain the partition of Ireland than the people of Britain. The ongoing British presence in Ireland has only brought tragedy and caused a scandalous waste of resources and humanity.

Therefore, a new beginning is needed. To this end the National Irish Freedom Committee (NIFC) has adopted and will promote the Irish drafted Eire Nua (New Ireland) program authored by Ruari O'Bradaigh and the late Daithi O'Connell. We believe that this program is based on sound and honorable principles incorporating fair and realistic plans to achieve national unity within the framework of an independent Irish Republic. To achieve this goal the existing system of undemocratic partition rule would be abolished in favor of new system based on the unity of the Irish people. The new system would be based on a new all-Ireland constitution. The new constitution would embody the following elements:

A Charter of Rights that would clearly define the rights and privileges to be accorded to each and every individual. These rights and privileges would include human rights, civil rights, political rights, free speech rights, equal rights, workers rights and traditional rights. It would prohibit the government from granting unto itself special powers that could be used to violate or circumvent any of these rights.

New Governments Structures that would embody a system of power sharing administered at the national, provincial, county/district government levels. This system would ensure the maximum distribution of government powers and would accommodate the unique and distinctive character of each of the historic provinces. In addition, it would grant autonomy to each of the provinces to pursue interests for which they have a natural affinity including cultural, traditional and economic interests

The Separation of Church and State would guarantee the various religious denominations the freedom to attend to the spiritual needs of their adherents. By the same token the government would not be in the business of legislating morality. Instead, it would cater to the temporal needs of all its citizens including believers and non-believers alike who makeup the entire population.

An Independent Judiciary would ensure that the nations' Supreme Court, as guardian of the constitution, would have equal status to the legislative and executive branches of government. The judicial power of the nation would be vested in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would be the final interpreter of the meaning of the constitution, and as such, would exercise the power of judicial review to ensure that legislation and/or the exercise of executive powers would not violate the constitution. As head of an independent judiciary, the Court would be the ultimate tribunal in the nations court system. Within the framework of litigation, the Court would mark the boundaries of authority between the national, provincial and local levels of government, and between the government and the citizen.

Contributor - Tomás Ó Coisdealba

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