Category Archives: Press Coverage

Below is some of the press coverage of issues Senator Daly is working on

UN warns return to violence in Northern Ireland with no-deal Brexit

New United Nations and Irish government report points to a return to Ireland in Northern Ireland if theirs is a hard border in place with the Republic or a no-deal Brexit

Northern Ireland will return to violence warns United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chairs, as there is an increasing likelihood of a hard border created by no-deal Brexit, caused by the British Government’s U-turn on the backstop, or a rushed border poll. The report states the only question in both scenarios is the scale of the violence.

Research, based on a recommendation of the first report in the history of the Dáil (Parliament) and the Senate, on uniting Ireland highlights there will be a return to violence in Northern Ireland as a result of a hard border due to a no-deal Brexit and/or a rushed border poll.

The research was conducted by Senator Mark Daly in conjunction with UNESCO Chairs, Professor Pat Dolan and Professor Mark Brennan, with input from Michael Ortiz, who served as the first United States diplomat on the issue of Countering Violent Extremism in the US State Department during president Barack Obama’s administration.

Senator Mark Daly said, “Fifty years ago this week we saw a return to violence on this island and the introduction of British troops to the streets, 50 years later this must be prevented at all costs.”

A memorial to Bloody Sunday, at the Bogside, in Derry.

A memorial to Bloody Sunday, at the Bogside, in Derry.

The report was first released in February when the deadline for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union was six weeks away. The new research concludes, that a hard border materializing due to a no-deal Brexit, would trigger a return to violence in Northern Ireland.

All indications are that without direct efforts to engage youth and citizens of all backgrounds, there will also be a return to violence in the event of a rushed border poll on the island of Ireland. The only question in both scenarios will be the scale of the violence.

Senator Daly commented “This research and report, we have complied, identifies and highlights the responsibility of the UK government to stand by the backstop that they agreed to. This will ensure that the peace process on this island is not jeopardized by a no-deal Brexit related hard border. The EU need to ensure there is no return to a hard border in light of the facts outlined in the UNESCO chairs report.”

Loss of memory harm

The research highlights the issue of “loss of memory of harm”, among the “Agreement Generation”, a term which applies to the generation born just before or since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. This generation has no first-hand knowledge of the horrors of conflict and some will have been given a romanticized account of The Troubles.

Those born after 1994 have no memories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Those born after 1994 have no memories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Supporting the youth

The research also emphasizes the serious problems facing the present generation, especially those who live in the most disadvantaged loyalist and republican areas.

Professor Dolan points out “Firstly, at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland most young people were not involved and were peaceful by nature. Secondly, the human harm and damage that can be done by a small population of dissident youth from either or both communities can lead to massive harm to people up to and including tragic death. So, this is not a simple matter of scale.”

Professor Brennan commented “we argue that where children (and youth) are being supported by adults to willingly or unwillingly become involved in acts of violence in the North, that this is a violation of their human rights under the United Nations. Such instances could and should be referred to the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on child and Armed Conflict.”

An IRA sign in Derry, in 2019.

An IRA sign in Derry, in 2019.

Community leadership and preventing radicalization

The research highlights the fact that a key element in preventing violent extremism is the role of community-level leadership, which can counteract the emergence of violence by providing a space for interaction between different traditions.

However, it stresses that in some areas of Northern Ireland some of those vital community leaders are the ones involved in the radicalization of the youth – and that this critical issue must be tackled as a matter of urgency.  It must also be noted that Professors Dolan and Brennan acknowledge the positive work done in Northern Ireland by many individuals, groups, schools and civil society organizations.

Police investigating the crime scene where Lyra McKee was murdered by the IRA in April 2019.

Police investigating the crime scene where Lyra McKee was murdered by the IRA in April 2019.

The Professors state in the report “In anticipation of a future referendum on unification and a new Ireland, regardless of when this emerges, program and policymakers need to establish a basis for cross-society interaction, integrated schooling, and integrated existences (housing, work, and other settings). It is only through this sort of interaction, communication, and experience sharing that all sides realize common, general needs as well as the fact that they have nothing to fear from the ‘other’ side.”

In the report, Michael Ortiz outlines how a return to violence can be prevented in advance of a border poll. He writes “Ireland and Northern Ireland have long struggled with terrorism but have made tremendous progress in recent years. As leaders across the island grapple with the concept of a United Ireland, it is important to consider the ways, in which future violence could be prevented, including the strengthening of counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts, supporting civil society organizations, and religious and educational institutions, and providing citizens with the tools they need to intervene during the radicalization process.”

* This research is based on one of the recommendations in the report adopted by the Parliamentary Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, “Brexit and the Future of Ireland, Uniting Ireland and Its People in Peace and Prosperity”  compiled in 2017 by Senator Mark Daly.

The full report ‘Northern Ireland Returning to Violence due to a Hard Border as a result of  Brexit or a Rushed Border Poll: Risk to Youth can be accessed here.

Comments Off on UN warns return to violence in Northern Ireland with no-deal Brexit

Filed under Press Coverage

Northern Ireland Returning to Violence Warns UNESCO Chairs as a result of a Hard Border due to increasingly likely no deal Brexit, because of British Government’s U-Turn on the Backstop, or a rushed Border Poll, the only question in Both Scenarios is Scale

Research based on a recommendation of the first report in the history of the Dáil and the Senate on Uniting Ireland highlights there will be a return to violence in Northern Ireland as a result of a Hard Border due to a no deal Brexit and/or a rushed border poll. The research was conducted by Senator Mark Daly in conjunction with UNESCO Chairs, Professor Pat Dolan* and Professor Mark Brennan*, with input from Michael Ortiz*, who served as the first US diplomat on the issue of Countering Violent Extremism in the US State Department during the Obama administration.

Senator Mark Daly said today, “50 years ago this week we saw a return to violence on this island and the introduction of British troops to the streets, 50 years later this must be prevented at all costs”.

The report, which was first released in February when the deadline for the UK leaving the EU was 6 weeks away concludes, that a hard border materialising due to a no deal Brexit, would trigger a return to violence in Northern Ireland. All indications are that without direct efforts to engage youth and citizens of all backgrounds, there will also be a return to violence in the event of a rushed border poll on the island of Ireland. The only question in both scenarios will be the scale of the violence.

Senator Daly commented today  “This research and report, we have complied, identifies and highlights the responsibility of the UK government to stand by the backstop that they agreed to. This will ensure that the peace process on this island is not jeopardised by a no deal Brexit related hard border. The EU needs to ensure there is no return to a hard border in light of the facts outlined in the UNESCO chairs report”.

The research highlights the issue of ‘Loss of memory of harm’, among the ‘Agreement Generation’ a term which applies to the generation born just before or since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. This generation has no first-hand knowledge of the horrors of conflict and some will have been given a romanticised account of the ‘troubles’.

The research also emphasises the serious problems facing the present generation, especially those who live in the most disadvantaged loyalist and republican areas.

Professor Dolan points out “Firstly, at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland most young people were not involved and were peaceful by nature. Secondly, the human harm and damage that can be done by a small population of dissident youth from either or both communities can lead to massive harm to people up to and including tragic death. So, this is not a simple matter of scale.”

Professor Brennan commented “we argue that where children (and youth) are being supported by adults to willingly or unwillingly become involved in acts of violence in the North, that this is a violation of their human rights under the United Nations. Such instances could and should be referred to the UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on child and Armed Conflict.”

The research highlights the fact that a key element in preventing violent extremism is the role of community-level leadership, which can counteract the emergence of violence by providing a space for interaction between different traditions. However, it stresses that in some areas of Northern Ireland some of those vital community leaders are the ones involved in the radicalisation of the youth – and that this critical issue must be tackled as a matter of urgency.  It must also be noted that Professors Dolan and Brennan acknowledge the positive work done in Northern Ireland by many individuals, groups, schools and civil society organisations.

The Professors state in the report “In anticipation of a future referendum on unification and a new Ireland, regardless of when this emerges, program and policymakers need to establish a basis for cross-society interaction, integrated schooling, and integrated existences (housing, work, and other settings). It is only through this sort of interaction, communication, and experience sharing that all sides realize common, general needs as well as the fact that they have nothing to fear from the ‘other’ side.”

In the report Michael Ortiz states, “Ireland and Northern Ireland have long struggled with terrorism, but have made tremendous progress in recent years. As leaders across the island grapple with the concept of a United Ireland, it is important to consider the ways, in which future violence could be prevented, including the strengthening of counterterrorism and law enforcement efforts, supporting civil society organisations, and religious and educational institutions, and providing citizens with the tools they need to intervene during the radicalization process”

Michael Ortiz outlines how a return to violence can be prevented in advance of a border poll.

This research is based on one of the recommendations in the report adopted by the Parliamentary Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, “Brexit and the Future of Ireland, Uniting Ireland and Its People in Peace and Prosperity”  compiled in 2017 by Senator Mark Daly.

The full report ‘Northern Ireland Returning to Violence due to a Hard Border as a result of  Brexit or a Rushed Border Poll: Risk to Youth can be accessed here: UNESCO Report: Northern Ireland Returning to Violence

 

 

Comments Off on Northern Ireland Returning to Violence Warns UNESCO Chairs as a result of a Hard Border due to increasingly likely no deal Brexit, because of British Government’s U-Turn on the Backstop, or a rushed Border Poll, the only question in Both Scenarios is Scale

Filed under Press Coverage

Senator Mark Daly has called for clarification on the Taoiseach’s recent statement on a united Ireland

Over the last 10 days the Taoiseach has spoken numerous times on the issue of a future referendum on a united Ireland and the National Risk Assessment published by his Department this week for the first time ever addressed the issue. However, the Taoiseach needs to be clear and outline the Government position on any future referendum on a united Ireland.

Senator Daly, who compiled the first ever report on uniting Ireland by a Dáil or Senate Committee today said “The issue of a future referendum on a united Ireland, has clearly become more relevant in recent months and weeks, and it is good to see the Taoiseach is now looking at this issue, however he needs to be clear. Brexit has shown us, referendums should never be held without proper preparation and clarity. I have been calling on the Government to start the preparation work now for a possible referendum, this work will take years and should include all elements of this island.

  1. Speaking in Belfast yesterday the Taoiseach is quoted as saying in reference to a referendum on Irish unity “ There is a chance it would be defeated”
  2. Recently at the MacGill summer school saying “I do think more and more people certainly in the event of no deal, more and more people in Northern Ireland will come to question the union,”.
  3. In the National Risk Assessment published this week by the Taoiseach  and in previous Parliamentary replies by the Taosieach, he has stated “a border poll would not be regarded as a risk”.
  4. In the National Risk Assessment also the impact of Brexit bringing a renewed fear of a return to violence due to increase focus on a border poll “A no deal Brexit also has the potential to become a focus for increased loyalist para-military recruitment and activity, including in response to dissident republican paramilitary actions and an increased public focus on a border poll.”
  5. The National Risk Assessment by the Taoiseach said a referendum should be planned for “The Government has always recognised the need for advance preparations for referenda and this would be of particular importance in the case of a border poll given the potential impact on all the people of the island of Ireland. The lessons of the UK Brexit Referendum are of particular resonance in this.”
  6. At the Feile festival last night saying after a border poll, a united Ireland would be “different state”

Senator Daly commented “I again call on the Taoiseach to implement the recommendation of the report by the All Party Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement entitled ‘Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland & Its People in Peace & Prosperity’, one of the 17 recommendations calls for the establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2, this would be the perfect venue to work out many of the serious issues that will face us in advance of a referendum”.

Comments Off on Senator Mark Daly has called for clarification on the Taoiseach’s recent statement on a united Ireland

Filed under Press Coverage

Senator Mark Daly & Deputy Seán Fleming welcomes Taoiseach’s U-Turn in the National Risk Assessment on the issue of possible referendum of United Ireland in report launched today.

However, there is need for preparation for United Ireland in advance of referendum.

–Deputy Sean Fleming TD and Senator Mark Daly

Senator Mark Daly & Deputy Sean Fleming welcomes Taoiseach’s U-Turn in the National Risk Assessment on the issue of a possible referendum on a United Ireland in report launched today. However, there is a need for preparation for United Ireland in advance of a referendum. As part of the Government’s public consultation on the draft national risk assessment Deputy Seán Fleming and Senator Mark made a substantial submission and called on the Taoiseach and Government to include the possibility of a future referendum on unifying the people of Ireland in the final National Risk Assessment 2019 report which was released today.

There was no mention of the possibility of a referendum on new Agreed Ireland uniting the people of Ireland in any of the 5 previous National Risk Assessments or the 2019 Draft National Risk Assessment issued by the Taoiseach Department. Meanwhile, topics as diverse as global warming, cybersecurity, terrorism, the healthcare crisis, the housing crisis and even the possibility of another referendum on Scottish independence had been included

Taoiseach Varadkar spoke recently at the MacGill summer school saying, “I do think more and more people certainly in the event of no deal, more and more people in Northern Ireland will come to question the union,”,

However, his own department’s Draft 2019 National Risk Assessment report made no mention of any necessity for policy preparation in advance of any referendum. The Taoiseach has said in a Parliamentary Question reply to Deputy Fleming that the topic ‘would not be regarded as a risk’, and yet went on to say that ‘the very important and sensitive policy issues related to it would not be dealt with in the Risk Assessment process’.

Deputy Fleming, commenting on the publication of the National Risk assessment, said, “While we welcome the acknowledgment of the issue in the National Risk Assessment, we are disappointed that the Taoiseach is not outlining the options that he and the Government should be considering as part of any necessary preparation for a new agreed Ireland”.

Senator Mark Daly who was in charge of compiling the first every report by a Dáil & Senate Committee said

“I welcome the mentioning of a referendum on a New Agreed Ireland in the National Risk Assessment. The establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2 is one of the central recommended of the all party Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The New Ireland Forum 2 would set a pathway to achieve the peaceful reunification of Ireland. It is disappointing that the Government has not actioned any one of the 17-recommendation adopted by the all party committee”

The report that Senator Daly was appointed as Rapporteur by Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement to compile is titled ‘ Brexit & the Future of Ireland Uniting Ireland & her People in Peace & Prosperity’.

 

Comments Off on Senator Mark Daly & Deputy Seán Fleming welcomes Taoiseach’s U-Turn in the National Risk Assessment on the issue of possible referendum of United Ireland in report launched today.

Filed under Press Coverage

Varadkar accused of failing to make preparations for poll on united Ireland

Mark Daly, a senator with the country’s main opposition party Fianna Fail, criticised Leo Varadkar.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has been accused of not making any of the “necessary preparations” for the possible reunification of Ireland.

Mark Daly, a senator with the country’s main opposition party Fianna Fail, said that two years after a report detailing the measures that needed to be implemented before a referendum on a united Ireland could come to fruition, not one recommendation had been actioned by the Irish government.

He called on the government to implement the report’s recommendations in full as soon as possible.

In August 2017, an Oireachtas cross-party committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement published a document entitled Brexit And The Future Of Ireland: Uniting Ireland & Its People In Peace & Prosperity’.

It contained 17 recommendations relating to a united Ireland.

Among them was the establishment of a New Ireland forum to set a pathway to achieve the peaceful reunification of Ireland. It also called for an international task force comprising security experts to be set up so that plans to meet any risks may be devised and implemented.

It said the fears and concerns of the unionist community in Northern Ireland needed to be examined in advance of any potential referendum on a united Ireland and that further research needed to be carried out into the income and expenditure of the region.

bpanews_db36144e-3e28-4036-a904-76cbaf7cc999_embedded239573985
Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly accused Irish premier Leo Varadkar of not doing any ‘necessary preparation’ in advance of a possible reunification of Ireland.(Fianna Fail/PA)

“Absolutely none of the recommendations of the all-party committee have been implemented, this is a clear case of policy neglect and policy neglect seldom goes unpunished,” Mr Daly said.

“The Taoiseach [Leo Varadkar] has spoken as recently as the McGill summer school on the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland, especially faced as we are now with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, yet he is doing none of the necessary preparation in advance of the possible/probable referendum on a new agreed Ireland.”

Mr Daly added: “Brexit has taught us many lessons, the most important being, you do not hold a referendum without the prior work being completed, any referendum on a united Ireland needs the preparation to start now, not when we are faced with the question at the ballot box.”

Speaking at the McGill summer school last Friday, Mr Varadkar said that a no-deal Brexit would prompt more liberal unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland to consider joining a united Ireland.

He also said that those uncomfortable with a “nationalistic” Britain which is considering reintroducing the death penalty could join forces to support Irish unity and continued membership of the EU.

Mr Daly has been working with a number of experts to produce research reports to address many of the committee’s recommendations, including Michael Ortiz who served as the first US diplomat focused on countering violent extremism, based at the US Department of State during the Obama Administration.

He has also been working with two Unesco chairmen, Professor Pat Dolan and Professor Mark Brennan. They recently published a report on youth and peace in Northern Ireland, which warned of the possible return to violence in the region as a result of a no-deal Brexit or a rushed border poll.

Comments Off on Varadkar accused of failing to make preparations for poll on united Ireland

Filed under Press Coverage