Mícheál Martin Calls for Same-Sex Marriage Referendum in Northern Ireland
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has called for a referendum on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, suggesting this could help break the impasse in the upcoming talks. The Irish and British governments have announced renewed talks aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly. It came after the murder of journalist Lyra McKee by the New IRA on April 18.
Mr Martin was speaking as members of his party gathered at Arbour Hill cemetery for its annual 1916 Rising Commemoration.
The Northern Ireland Executive collapsed more than two years ago in a row over a renewable heat incentive scheme. However, Sinn Féin and the DUP have since clashed over an Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland and same-sex marriage.
Mr Martin suggested that one way forward would be for the suspension or limitation of the “petition of concern” procedure in the Assembly. This mechanism has been used by the DUP in the past to block abortion and same-sex marriage.
Mr Martin said that alternatively an immediate commitment for a referendum on same-sex marriage that would quickly follow the restoration of the institutions “might be a way out” and could “break the logjam”.
Irish Independent. April 29.