Niall Ó Donnghaile - Comhairleoir Niall Ó Donnghaile – Uniting Ireland - Cumann Seán Máirtín / Seán Treasaigh ag labhairt ar son Rún
Tá a lán athraithe tagtha ar saol muintir na Sé chontae le bliantaí beaga anuas – is féidir an sampla is soiléire a fhéiceal de seo i gcathair dúchais s’agamsa, Béal Feirste.
Níos mó ná ag am ar bith eile tá Poblachtánaí ag léiriú ceannasaíocht ar an talamh, i gcuid de na gceantracha is boichte sa chathair, tríd idirgníomh díreach a dhéanamh leis an phobail Aontachtach agus Dílseach.
Is obair tharr a bheith tabhactach é an obair seo.
Since being appointed Mayor of Belfast on the 26th of May last year I have had the honour to serve the people of Ireland’s second city in an unprecedented year of momentous events.
2012 has been a hugely significant year for our city and all of our people.
However the real achievement over the past year has been the increased engagement between Republicans and grassroots Unionism and Loyalism within our city.
I have been fortunate enough to be involved directly in this work through my role as a Sinn Féin and community activist in east Belfast – however during my term as Mayor I have been able to do what none of my Sinn Féin predecessors were able to and that is to travel extensively into working class loyalist communities and heartlands.
I have visited the Shankill Road on numerous occasions, I have been into the Suffolk Estate twice, I have visited the Newtonards Road three days after the UVF orchestrated and carried out a vicious attack on the Short Strand in June of last year.
And as we now find ourselves in the much referenced ‘Decade of Centenaries’ it is incumbent upon us all to continue to show leadership, respect and a willingness to critically engage and analyse the unique and often contested fabric of Ireland’s rich history.
That is the challenge that has been laid out for us as we steer a clear path towards a United Ireland.
I want to commend those party members who have been to the fore in this engagement whether in Belfast or across Ireland – at times this work is difficult, but it is a central component of advancing Republican objectives.
We are Republican, unashamedly so, but we are not afraid to experience opposing views – we must actively encourage a better understanding of our Unionist neighbours. We want to foster a real place for Unionism and Loyalism within a new and united Ireland, the onus is on us, as we approach the 100thanniversary of the Easter Rising we must remember the challenge that is sets for us to deliver for people right across Ireland;
The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.
We must continue in our endeavour to realise the ideals set down so firmly in the Proclamation of 1916 – that is the challenge ahead of us and that is the challenge this Ard Fheis will meet.