Sinn Féin welcomes Fianna Fáil entry to the United Ireland debate
The chair of Sinn Féin’s United Ireland project, Matt Carthy MEP, has welcomed reports that Fianna Fáil are set to publish their proposals for a United Ireland over the coming weeks.
Matt Carthy said:
"I welcome reports attributed to Micheál Martin that his party is set to publish their proposals for delivering a United Ireland.
“It is clear from his reported remarks that Mr Martin has closely read Sinn Féin’s discussion document 'Towards a United Ireland' and has considered the various ideas contained within it. Again, I welcome this.
“It is less than two months since Fianna Fáil refused to send a speaker to a United Ireland conference in Dublin, organised by my party, because they said such a debate was 'premature'.
“Fianna Fáil has consistently discouraged discussion of Irish unity and did nothing in its various terms in Government to advance the issue. Instead Fianna Fáil, and Micheál Martin in particular, has criticised my party for pursuing the issue.
“Nevertheless, if the comments by Micheál Martin are a belated recognition of the need for the leaders of political parties which claim to aspire to Irish unity, to develop policies in that regard, it represents welcome progress. I await Fianna Fáil’s ideas and proposals with interest.
“Sinn Féin is vehemently opposed to the policies of Fianna Fáil which destroyed the Irish economy, forced thousands to emigrate, destroyed public services and inflicted huge hardship on working families.
“However, it is important that all political forces which advocate a United Ireland, co-operate towards that end. I hope that Fianna Fáil will now join the growing campaign north and south for Irish unity.
“Meanwhile, the Fine Gael-led Government must now also recognise the huge political changes that are taking place on this island.
“Those changes have been accelerated as a result of Britain’s intention to exit the European Union and to drag the North with it, and of the recent elections in the North which heralded the end of the unionist political majority there.
“It is essential in these circumstances that the Government prepares a real plan for Irish unity. A first step would be the development of an Oireachtas all-party group to bring forward a Green Paper for Unity. Plans should be developed for an all-island National Health Service and all-island public services through a ‘United Ireland Investment and Prosperity Plan’.
“It is clear that the aspiration of a United Ireland is bigger than any single political party. It is shared by the majority of Irish people living on our island and across the globe. They expect parties who share the vision of Irish Unity to work together for its realisation. Sinn Féin is up for that challenge. I hope Fianna Fáil and others are too”.