MacGill Summer School opens with call for debate on national unity

The 30th annual MacGill Summer School was officially opened in Glenties last night by former Taoiseach Dr Garret Fitzgerald, followed by the 10th annual John Hume Lecture, which was delivered by the North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The theme of this year's school is Reforming the Republic - Issues of Politics, Economics and Accountability.

Participants in sessions today include Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin, with several other ministers and senior politicians due in Glenties over the rest of the week.

Director Joe Mulholland says the school will be asking serious questions about the state of politics and the economy, but will also be seeking solutions and looking to the future.

In his lecture last night, Martin McGuinness said the theme of "Reforming the Republic" cannot be realised by tinkering with the border, and there should be a national debate on Irish unity.

He said there should be an end to the duplication of bodies to promote sport, arts, tourism and investment on both sides of the border, and called for the people of Northern Ireland to be allowed to vote in presidential elections in the republic............

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/marty830.mp3[/podcast]