Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaking in New York last night urged Irish America to use its considerable influence to “persuade political opinion in America that a United Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA.
“We need Irish America to get your new President and Secretary of State and the USA to use your enormous influence with the British government to move them in that direction also.
“And we need Irish America to support the holding of a border poll.”
The Sinn Féin leader also expressed his solidarity with those affected by last weeks super storm.
The Sinn Féin leader thanked the Irish Diaspora “across the USA and internationally, who have remained steadfast, and kept faith with the cause of peace and justice and unity in Ireland” and he appealed for a renewed focus as we “enter a new phase in the struggle for freedom and independence”.
Gerry Adams said:
“Twenty years ago, in 1992, Sinn Féin’s efforts to build a peace process entered a new and critical phase. We did so with the direct help of our friends here in the USA.
“Irish America needs to continue to challenge human rights abuses and campaign on social justice issues, like the wrongful imprisonment of Marian Price and Martin Corey.
“Irish America has also rejected the violent actions of a small, unrepresentative number of groups in Ireland who are intent on blindly using violence.”
The Sinn Féin President added:
“The Good Friday Agreement has created the means by which Irish unity can be achieved democratically and peacefully.
“Irish America needs to persuade political opinion in America that a United Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA.
“Irish America needs to get your new President and Secretary of State and the USA to use your enormous influence with the British to move them in that direction also.
“And we need Irish America to support the holding of a border poll.
“This is a live issue at this time and has been given added impetus by the recent decision to hold a referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence.
“The Good Friday Agreement provides for a border poll on Irish unity. Sinn Fein in the new year will commence a campaign to achieve this. That means we need to build momentum and support so that the Irish and British governments are persuaded to hold a border poll.
“We will then have to campaign for a YES vote and to persuade the people of the island of Ireland to support unity and the creation of a new Republic.
“It especially means persuading those, north and south, who don’t want Irish unity that it will be better for them and for their children.
“Irish America has a role to play and a contribution to make in all of this.
The Diaspora must also have a role in the Irish government’s Constitutional Convention.
“Regrettably the Taoiseach is only committed to minimalist reform.
“When I raised this with him, and in particular the right of citizens with Irish passports living abroad to have the vote in presidential elections, he shied away from giving a meaningful role to the diaspora in the Constitutional Convention.
This is not acceptable.
“But Sinn Féin has succeeded in getting votes for Irish passport holders on to the agenda of the convention. So you need to make your voice heard on this.
“This generation of republicans is laying the foundations for a New Republic — a new Ireland with social justice and equality at its core.
“I believe we can achieve that new Ireland, that we can unite all of the people of the island of Ireland, and end past divisions and resolve outstanding differences.”