Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that securing a
referendum on a united Ireland would be a momentous and historic opportunity to
build a society that served all Irish citizens.
Carthy, who was speaking last night at a meeting in NUIG on
a United Ireland, said:
“Something big is happening in Ireland right now. Brexit has
accelerated a debate on Irish Unity that was always inevitable.
“The prospect of the North of Ireland being removed from the
European Union against the will of the people there, and a reinforcing of the
border in Ireland, has raised many questions about the future.
“Most people understand that it makes no political, economic
or social sense to have one part of this island inside the EU and another
“Many are saying that we need to look now at how to create
new political structures that will benefit all of our people North and South.
“We must protect our industry, our farmers, our workers, and
our students for whom Brexit is a potential catastrophe.
“Brexit has created an entirely new dynamic for the building
of a new and agreed United Ireland.
“We should all be working together with the common objective
of convincing the greatest possible number of people across Ireland that Unity
is in their best interest.
“And let us convince those who think otherwise that they
have nevertheless nothing to fear from the outcome of a referendum.
“Brexit, as well as demographic and political changes in the
North, have demonstrated that we urgently need an inclusive, constructive debate
on our future. This must include constitutional options and what a United
Ireland might look like.”
Carthy says that as Britain jettisoned its previous
relationship with Europe, and becomes increasingly insular and isolated, the
appeal of being part of a new and outward-looking Ireland would prove ever more
attractive to young people from a unionist background.
“A new, united Ireland will be pluralist, inclusive, and
accommodating to all our people in all their diversity. Let’s remember that the
Orange tradition is an Irish tradition.
“Unionists and nationalists, North and South, cannot
continue to seek to live separately. Our futures are bound together. Economy
and society across the island of Ireland are intertwined. The prospect of
Brexit has merely served to highlight that reality.
“Back-to-back development and wasteful duplication serves
nobody, in either jurisdiction. It is unarguable that a United Ireland will act
as a spur for economic growth, job creation and a society across the whole
island where all our citizens can prosper.
“Securing a referendum on Irish unity would be a momentous
and historic opportunity for all the people of Ireland, allowing us to vote for
the kind of government and society we wish to see.
“We now have a unique opportunity to build a
future beyond Partition, sectarianism and division. It is a historic
opportunity to build a society that serves the interests of all the people who
share this island. It’s an opportunity to deliver a United Ireland. Let’s