[Sinn Fein]

29 March 1998

Don't put British veto in the Irish Constitution

Speaking on arrival at the meeting of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, this afternoon Sinn Fein TD for Cavan/Monaghan Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin commented on proposed changes in Articles Two and Three as revealed in the Sunday Business Post.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``These proposed changes are totally unacceptable. The removal of the clear definition of the national territory in Article Two runs contrary to broad nationalist opinion throughout Ireland.

``The proposed replacement for Article Three would put the unionist veto into the Constitution. It would not only leave uncontested, but actually reinforce, the British claim to sovereignty over the Six Counties.

``It is clear that the British government does not propose at this time to remove the claim of jurisdiction by the British Crown and the British Parliament over the Six Counties. Nor is it yet prepared to place the issue of consent in an all-Ireland context, with recognition of the right of the nationalist community in the North not to be forced to live in a state which does not have their consent.

``In these circumstances the proposed changes to Articles Two and Three would be a major step backwards and they should be opposed by all democratic opinion.''

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