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Irish Unity makes sense - Senator Doherty

17 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has tonight taken part in a Trinity Historical Society debate on the proposition ‘That there should be a united Ireland’. Sharing the platform are Jeffrey Donaldson DUP, David McNarry UUP and Mark Durkan of the SDLP.


Speaking in favour of the proposition Senator Doherty said:


“Irish unity makes sense. It makes sense economically and socially. Sinn Féin has consistently worked towards an island-wide approach in key policy areas including the economy, healthcare, education, employment, transport, agriculture and tourism.


The border must no longer be an impediment to progress. On a practical level people should be facilitated to access their nearest hospital without the complications the border poses. Students should be facilitated to attend their nearest school.


“The fact that on our island there are two different currencies, two different health systems, two different road safety authorities, two different education curricula is a waste of resources. Duplication of services has impacted negatively on all our peoples’ wellbeing. An all-Ireland economy and society makes sense for everyone. Unionists have nothing to fear and everything to gain from Irish unity.


“Sinn Féin is determined to secure national self-determination, reunification, political independence and national reconciliation. Northern representation in the Houses of the Oireachtas should be allowed and I welcome the fact that MPs will participate in the Oireachtas committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Citizens in the 6 counties should have voting rights in presidential elections.


“There should be a green paper on Irish unity to plan for a united Ireland, which is an inevitably. The united Ireland that Republicans want should not just be decided by a sectarian head count. It should be a planned approach involving all stakeholders.


“The imperialist imposed partition of our country in 1920 sliced it in two and lead to a ‘carnival of reaction’ as James Connolly forewarned. The result was the construction of a six county statelet maintained through violence, sectarianism, discrimination and deep inequality.


“We must take guidance from the words of South Africa’s inspirational freedom fighter Nelson Mandela who said ‘Let us ensure that this country’s children never know the suffering and humiliation of previous generations’. Republicans continue to work for a new Ireland founded on equality and social justice that will protect future generations from the wrongs of the past.” ENDS

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