Denmark broke down the wall of Spanish diplomacy and Ireland has now made another crack in it. This afternoon, the ‘Oireachtas’, the Irish Parliament, received a delegation from the Government of Catalonia to receive first-hand information on the independence process. The Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the EU, Roger Albinyana; the Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo, and the Catalan government delegate in London, Josep Suárez, appeared in a room of the Parliament in a session behind closed doors, to talk about the process to members of the two chambers; of the ‘Dáil’ (lower chamber) and of the ‘Seanad’ (senate), containing practically all political colours.
It was the president of the Commission of European Affairs of the Irish Parliament, the Labour Party Dominic Hannigan (the Labour Party forms part of the government coalition), who invited the government of Catalonia to explain the process to the members and senators of the chamber.
During the session, Roger Albinyana made a political assessment of the current situation and of what might happen on 27-S and beyond, and Albert Royo remembered Catalonia’s attempt at gaining a new statute of autonomy which was frustrated by the Spanish Constitutional Court, the large citizens mobilisations, the attempt to negotiate a referendum with the Spanish state and the calling of the 27-S elections in the form of a plebiscite. ‘There is a lot of interest in knowing what is happening in Catalonia with the independence process, and it would be difficult for there to be any public pronouncement until there is a democratic mandate, which might come after the plebiscitary elections’, Royo told VilaWeb.
After the expose, bilateral meetings were held with representatives of all other parties in the Irish Parliamentary Arc, who were told that on 27-S the democratic mandate for independence might come which would make the Irish Parliament and other European Parliaments make public pronouncements upon the secession of Catalonia. ‘The proposal of the civic list would strengthen this plebiscitary character, they said. It is vitally important that the mandate should be seen as such. A list like this would be seen as an element which would give legitimacy to the plebiscitary interpretation’, Royo said, also mentioning that the Irish members of Parliament also appreciate the fact that the 27-S voting will take place within Spanish legality.
And he added that the Irish members of Parliament ‘have a perfect understanding of what plebiscitary elections are’. In fact in the British elections of 1918, the Irish parties were turned into a facto plebiscite on independence, and the elected members did not take up their seats in Westminster, but rather went to Dublin to form the first Irish Parliament.