Ní Riada congratulates UCC students on unity vote
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has congratulated the UCC Sinn Féin Martin Hurson Cumann on securing enough signatures to hold a referendum on Irish reunification in the university.
The group needed to raise 500 signatures in order to hold the referendum and within five hours had raised over 1000.
"Firstly, let me offer my congratulations to UCC Sinn Féin and Sinn Féín Republican Youth on the outstanding success of this petition," she said.
"The huge number of signatures they received in such a short time shows that not only is Irish reunification still an important issue for young people today but that they recognise, particularly now in the face of Brexit, it is the only long term solution to the the various problems facing our island.
"I am also particularly heartened to see that while this initiative was launched by Republican Youth and the Martin Hurson Cumann, they have made clear the actual campaign and vote will be non-partisan. More important than even the result of the referendum will be the discussion that it starts among students. This is their future and it's important that their voices, all their voices, are heard when it comes to forming a vision of what a new Ireland will be like. Irish reunification cannot be the responsibility of Sinn Féin alone and it's fantastic to see our youth building a broad, inclusive movement towards that goal.
"The Student's Union does not currently have a position on Irish unity and UCC Sinn Féin have said part of the reason they felt it was important to hold this referendum now was due to the threat posed by Brexit. It is encouraging that our youth are not afraid at looking at all the possible solutions to the problems the imposition of a hard border across our country will cause; our government could learn a lot from them."