A Professor of Law from Queens University Belfast (QUB) will today take part in a discussion in the Irish Parliament on extending voting rights to people outside the Republic of Ireland.
Prof Colin Harvey will appear at the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee, Deputy Seán Crowe, said: “We welcome Professor Harvey, who is Professor of Human Rights Law in Queen’s School of Law to the meeting for a discussion on the proposed Bill to extend the franchise in presidential elections to citizens outside of the State. We will also be discussing citizenship rights of people in the North of Ireland and current legislation in place in this area.”
The Irish News reported this week that Prof Harvey said recently that he felt “under siege” from unionists who pressed QUB to say if it endorses his work on “planning and preparing for constitutional change in Ireland”.
In a `Beyond Brexit’ event in the Waterfront in Belfast in January, Prof Harvey responded to criticism of the event organisers for not inviting unionists to speak. “Let me absolutely clear, we apologise to no-one for being here today and having the conversation about the rights of Irish citizens,” he said.
Prof Harvey was also a signatory to an open letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this week calling for a new Citizens’ Assembly to reflect “the views of citizens north and South”.