DUP man supports 'All-Ireland' scheme

A DUP councillor in Newtownabbey has broken border boundaries by supporting an 'All-Ireland' initiative.
Jackie Mann said he supports an ‘All-Ireland’ travel pass that would mean pensioners would get to travel free on buses and trains to anywhere in Ireland as a whole.
The Republic’s Social and family affairs minister Seamus Brennan says he wants to introduce an all-island travel pass for pensioners and the minister’s move has been warmly welcomed by Cllr Mann.
His comments come just weeks after colleague Arthur Templeton caused anger and raised eyebrows along the unionist benches by speaking Irish in a committee meeting. The DUP man, who was convicted of harassing a gay election candidate, was speaking during a discussion on an Irish medium school in the grounds of St Enda’s GAA.
"I would like to see an All-Ireland bus pass. I think pensioners should be able to travel anywhere for free," said Jackie Mann.
“I think pensioners, war veterans and the disabled should be able to travel anywhere for free, North, South, Scotland or Wales. I think this is a good proposal.”
And Cllr Mann said he would go one step further and recommend the move to Newtownabbey Council, despite the Republic’s minister complaining his plans had received a cool reception.
"An all-island travel pass is the programme for government we signed up to.
“We have committed ourselves to this," said the minister.
Currently pensioners living in the North of Ireland are not entitled to free travel in the South. Pass holders in the South can travel to the North for free but cannot get free travel within the North of Ireland.
Minister Brennan complained that while up to 40,000 pensioners outside the Republic claimed Irish pensions they could not travel for free in the Republic.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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