Mayor Of Dublin Launches One Ireland One Vote Petition

Sean Bresnahan reports on Saturday's launch by the 1916 Societies of its One Ireland One Vote petition. Sean Bresnahan is a member of the 1916 Societies.
  • One Ireland One Vote Petition Launched In Dublin By First Citizen Of The City Christy Burke

Mayor of Dublin Christie Burke signing the petition

A packed hall in Ionad an Phiarsaigh - the Pearse Centre in Dublin - played host to the official launch of the 1916 Societies’ One Ireland One Vote Petition on Saturday morning. With people attending from all over Ireland to participate in the occasion, Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke became the first to add his name to the Petition, signalling the launch of a ‘new democratic initiative to restore the right of the Irish people to determine their own future’.

Chairing the event, Paul Scannell, National Organiser of the 1916 Societies, spoke of a need to challenge ‘the combined failures of partition, austerity and the political status quo’, encouraging those present to view the One Ireland One Vote initiative as 'a means to empower a new generation of Irish people, to assert what remains our national right to self-determination, to a decent standard of living in a republic where the interests of the people are paramount and to the fore of the decision-making process’.

Upon signing the Petition, First Citizen of Dublin Christy Burke described how for him the 1916 Proclamation remained ‘a timeless document, a guiding light on the path to a true democracy in Ireland but very much unfinished business’. Telling of the housing crisis across the country, the extent of homelessness and the fact children here are going to school hungry in the 21st century, he spoke of the need to see the 'ideas and ideals of the Proclamation fully implemented, including the right to decent housing, including the right to a proper education, including the right to a level of health provision befitting of a modern society such as ours'.

The keynote address was given by Mid Ulster Independent Councillor Barry Monteith, who described a pressing need to 'act for a better tomorrow, to engage with our fellow countrymen and women, to foster and instil the ideas that they and they alone have the right to decide Ireland’s destiny'. Continuing, he determined a need to 'mobilise and struggle together for a new all-Ireland democracy that draws our people together, working to build a people's republic based on sovereignty and on unity - a republic free from outside interference, established by the people and for the people'.

With all that in mind we in the 1916 Societies believe that, while yes the right to a National Republic belongs to the Irish people as of right, regardless, the condition of society today demands real change, the type of change that can only be realised in a new political arrangement, one whereby the people themselves are given the opportunities envisaged all those years ago when the Proclamation was read from the steps of the GPO. Those changes can best be realised in a new all-Ireland republic, a republic that ‘cherishes all of the children of the nation equally’ and guarantees ‘equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens’.

As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising, it is our belief that One Ireland One Vote, our demand for a 32-County Referendum on Irish Unity, can realise that end, speeding the formation of a sovereign, independent All-Ireland Republic in tune with the needs of its people, that secures a future for the Irish people, whether from Belfast, Derry, Cork or Donegal, in which the problems of today are consigned to history and a prosperous and secure future for all engendered as a national priority.

Interest from the body of the hall

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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