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Irish Parliament hosts debate on Catalonia

The Catalan self-determination process and the 27-S elections' plebiscitary character were debated on Tuesday afternoon in the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas). The session took place in Dublin's Leinster House, introduced by the Chairman of the Commission for European Affairs of the Irish Parliament, the Labour Party’s Dominic Hannigan. The Catalan Government’s Secretary for External Affairs, Roger Albinyana, and the Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo, spoke about the Catalan self-determination process to members of the Irish Congress (Dáil) and Senate (Seanad), representing the majority of the political parties. The session was also attended by the Catalan Government’s delegate to the United Kingdom and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

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08 July 2015 07:37 PM

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ACN

Dublin (ACN).- The Catalan self-determination process and the 27-S elections' plebiscitary character were debated on Tuesday afternoon in the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas). The session took place in Dublin's Leinster House, introduced by the Chairman of the Commission for European Affairs of the Irish Parliament, the Labour Party’s Dominic Hannigan. The Catalan Government’s Deputy Minister for External Affairs, Roger Albinyana and the Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo, spoke about the Catalan self-determination process to members of the Irish Congress (Dáil) and Senate (Seanad), representing the majority of the political parties. The session was also attended by the Catalan Government’s delegate to the United Kingdom and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.

 


Speaking to ACN, Roger Albinyana highlighted that "the meeting proves the success of the work done in the field of external relations", congratulating in particular the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the delegation of the Catalan Government in the UK and Ireland. For Albinyana, spreading awareness about the Catalan political process "requires persistence and a lot of effort" because "Spanish diplomacy always attempts to shatter such initiatives".

The promoter of the event, Labour’s Dominic Hannigan, stated that the Irish interest towards Catalan politics is rooted in different factors, such as Irish people's knowledge of this area through tourism and Irish companies' presence and cooperation with Catalonia. Another significant aspect is represented by the mass demonstrations for the right to self-determination. "We want to know what the current situation is", he added, recalling actions such as the motion that went before the Danish Parliament some months ago.

Indeed, in May, the Folketing, the National Parliament of Denmark, approved a proposal requesting Spain and Catalonia to hold "a peaceful and democratic dialogue" on the self-determination claims and "the question of Catalonia's independence". The motion was approved with the support of 6 of the 8 parliamentary groups, resulting in 64 votes in favour, 41 abstentions and 0 votes against.

"Catalans should be able to decide", Irish senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said 

On Tuesday, following Hannigan's introduction to the address, Albinyana took the floor, focusing his speech on the reasons behind the Catalan political process and the plebiscitary nature of the 27-S elections. He also tried to depict what an independent Catalonia would look like. On the other hand, during his intervention, the Secretary-General of DIPLOCAT, Albert Royo, recalled that Ireland has much experience in holding plebiscitary elections.

Specifically, in 1918, following the British general elections, the Irish MPs elected turned the vote into a 'de facto referendum' on independence. "They refused to take their seats in Westminster and set up an Irish Parliament. They know exactly what we're talking about", noted Royo, referring to the 27-S plebiscitary character. The session was followed with great interest by political parties such as Sinn Féin (the Irish

Republican party). One of its senators, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, said that his political faction supports the plebiscitary nature of 27-S. "The important thing is the democratic right to self-determination and therefore Catalan people should be able to decide" he said.

Before the afternoon session, Albinyana and Royo held meetings with the leaders of various political parties which showed interest in the current political situation in Catalonia and also expressed their willingness to follow how events will unfold in the coming months.

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  • Roger Albinyana, Albert Royo and Josep Suàrez with Irish politicians Dominic Hannigan and  Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (by J.Pérez)

  • Roger Albinyana, Albert Royo and Josep Suàrez with Irish politicians Dominic Hannigan and Trevor Ó Clochartaigh (by J.Pérez)