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Councillor Matt Carthy – All-Ireland economy - Ard Fheis 2012

26 May, 2012

Even an Italian, Giovanni Trapattoni, knows that an Irish team is better when its an all-Ireland team.

The best and most effective organisations on this island are All-Ireland organisations whether they be sporting bodies or credit unions or advocacy groups or trade unions or political parties for that matter. If you want efficiency then organise on a 32 county basis.

Ironically, the thing that we need to work for us most, the economy, is still hindered by partition.

Many businesses, especially in the border region, are crippled when trying to deal with dual taxation systems, two currencies, two administrations.

Communities are struggling trying to re-connect after over 90 years of division because they are faced with two different economic and political realities.

Small steps have been made in the battle to make the border irrelevant. And it is those communities most severally affected who are leading the charge. People in Derry and Donegal and Armagh and Louth and Tyrone and Monaghan know the benefit an all-Ireland economy will bring because they see at first hand the damage that has been done by its absence for so long.

But we have yet to convince some people outside of the border regions that they too need and will benefit from an all-Ireland economy and ultimately Irish Unity.

That is a job of work for Sinn Féin. We must spell out the necessity to end partition to the people of each Ireland’s 32 counties.

And we need to build this message beyond rhetoric. Because its too easy for political parties to play that game.

Fianna Fáil told us for years that they wanted a Free Ireland. What they didn’t say was they meant that they wanted to give the country anyway for nothing.

The truth is that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour combined do not even have the imagination to deliver a United, Prosperous, Fair Ireland let alone the vision to make it happen. Between them they cannot even picture the benefits of the all-Ireland economy because they are wedded to a failed economic philosophy that is partitionist and subservient; a philosophy that thinks its okay for a child to collapse in school as a result of malnutrition so long as a ratings agency doesn’t downgrade one of our banks.

There can be a better, fairer Ireland. Sinn Féin has the vision, the policies and the determination to deliver it. The first step must be the further development of an all-Ireland economy.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s team will be better because James McClean and Darron Gibson will be in the squad alongside Robbie Keane and Shay Given. Because Irish teams are stronger when they’re all-Ireland teams.

And the Irish economy will be stronger when it’s an all-Ireland economy.

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