Ni Riada tells Ennistymon "change is coming"
Hundreds of people packed into the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon on Thursday for a public meeting on uniting Ireland.
Sinn Féin hosted the meeting which was addressed by MEP Liadh Ní Riada, TDs David Cullinane and Martin Ferris, Senator Paul Gavan and local historian Dr Tomàs MacConmara before the floor was opened for questions.
Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada told those assembled that recent political changes had made reunification more pressing than ever.
"Partition has been an impediment to this country achieving its true economic potential for almost a century now. Study after study has confirmed this. Dr Kurt Hubner's peer reviewed paper, Modelling Irish Unification, concluded that Irish unity could benefit the Irish economy by €35.6 billion over the first 8 years.
"Economic Consultant and former senior international economist at Citibank in London Michael Burke, summed up his report to the European Parliament on the Irish economy by saying 'quite simply put, the whole population of Ireland would benefit economically from reunification.'
"Now is the time to plan and to build the maximum support for unity. The leadership of those political parties which say they support Irish unity, acting together, could help deliver it.
"Brexit means that reunification is no longer something that is just desirable. It is no longer something that can be put on the long finger by other parties who claim to support it and talk wistfully about how it would be nice in the future. There can now be no denying that it is absolutely essential for the future growth of this country.
"One way or the other, change is coming. We can either let that change happen around us or we can craft it ourselves. Here is where we begin that change. In rooms like this, right across the country, simply by having the conversation and more importantly, by going from here and having that same conversation with your friends and families, in your clubs and communities.
"It is no longer a question of choice. Doing nothing and hoping for the best is no longer an option."