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Caoimhghín ó Caoláin T.D. Speaks on Irish unity.

21 February, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Iarraim oraibh tacú le Rún nócha-naoi in ainm an Ard Chomhairle.

Tá an rún ag iarraidh ar an Ard Fheis a chur in iúl gur ceist Aontacht na hÉireann an phríomhcheist ar ár gclár. Mar a deireann an Rún, ní ábhar díospóireachta againn í, nó rud a thig anuas dúinn mar traidisiún, ach mar cheist phráinneach phraiticiúil pholaitíochta.

Last month our party marked the 90th anniversary of an Chéad Dáil Éireann with a commemoration and celebration in the Round Room of the Mansion House here in our capital city. I want to commend all who helped to organise and all who participated in that great event. It was more than a commemoration and a celebration. It was a declaration of intent and a reaffirmation of the absolute commitment of Sinn Féin to achieve the re-unification of our country in our time. Our primary aim is to complete the task begun by An Chéad Dáil Éireann, the task of ending the role of the British government in Ireland, establishing independence on an all-island basis and building a United Irish Republic.

This Ard Chomhairle motion affirms that the primary aim of Sinn Féin is Irish unity. The unification of Ireland is the goal of all true democrats in our country. An and to partition and the establishment of a real national democracy is the way forward to political progress, social and economic justice and lasting peace on this island we share. And it is achievable.

As the only all-Ireland party, organised throughout the 32 Counties, and with elected representation at all levels of democracy in Ireland, we are working to make Irish unity a reality in our time. Sinn Féin urges that the practical planning for a United Ireland begins now. We have initiated the process by placing the development of all-Ireland structures and the mandate for reunification at the top of our political agenda.

We have consistently urged an island-wide approach in key policy areas including the economy, health, employment, agriculture and tourism. We have given practical expression to this through the work of our Ministers in the Executive and the all-Ireland Ministerial Council. In the Dáil and Seanad and in the Assembly, Sinn Féin representatives have continuously pressed the need to sustain and develop the all-island approach. The Irish Unity Task Force established by the Ard Fheis last year is carrying forward the work and preparing to escalate our campaigning both nationally and internationally.

The current economic crisis demonstrates once more the folly of attempting to govern this small island on the basis of partition. It warps our economy and hampers our ability to democratically manage our affairs. Two separate currencies, two separate tax regimes, two separate administrations, two separate sets of public services on an island of just under six million people makes no sense. It leads to duplication, distortion and dysfunction. At present currency, tax and commercial differentials mean that trade in the Border Counties in this jurisdiction is suffering badly. In the past the same differentials have led to a flow in the opposite direction with trade and commerce in the Six Counties suffering. That turnaround will happen again with the ebb and flow constantly eroding the ability of the country to develop in a sustainable way.

Irish unity makes economic sense as well as being a democratic imperative. It is our core and primary objective.

Ar aghaidh linn le chéile ag obair ar son Aontacht na hÉireann lenár linn.

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