SDLP Claire Hanna suggests idea of Donegal sending elected representatives to Ulster assembly in a united Ireland

The possibility of Donegal returning elected representatives to an Ulster assembly in a united Ireland was raised this week in the Oireachtas.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 2:22 pm

SDLP MP Claire Hanna asked Derry human rights lawyer Colin Harvey if he believed devolution should be pursued within Ireland in the event of unity being mandated in a referendum.

“Does Professor Harvey see any potential in following other forms of devolution that might be prompted by having a Northern Assembly, whether that is opportunities for the north west and Donegal to participate in that? Does he see devolution being a regional parliament for Cork?

“Does he see basically the presence of a Northern Assembly stimulating conversations about other forms of devolution of power, such as an enhancement of the role of county councils?” said the South Belfast MP during a meeting of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Claire Hanna with fellow SDLP MP Colum Eastwood.

Prof. Harvey responded: “The devolution conversation - the conversation around the Northern institutions - is profoundly helpful because, in my view, the Irish State is over-centralised. One of the great positives about this discussion is that it will encourage a wider discussion in Ireland around regional policy.

“Many regions on this island have been fundamentally failed, Donegal, for example, through the excessive over-centralisation of the existing State. If this conversation encourages a wider, deeper and more inclusive discussion about the over-centralisation of the current Irish State, that would be very welcome for people in the north west, for example.”