Unionism should join the new Ireland debate – O’Neill
Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill has called on political unionism to join the debate about shaping a new and agreed Ireland.
Writing for the eamonmallie.com website ahead of a major conference on Irish Unity this weekend, which is open to the public, the Mid-Ulster MLA also pointed to recent election results as evidence of growing demand for reunification.
“The trend is obvious, there is a growing nationalist and republican vote, there is a growing progressive vote that is looking for real change,” she writes.
“In the recent Westminster election, unionist parties failed to secure 50% of the vote for the first time in the northern state, despite pitching it as a referendum on the union. If the result was a high water mark for unionism then the tide is certainly turning because the growing nationalist electorate have clearly turned their back on Westminster and now see the future based on all-Ireland and European representation.”
Michelle O’Neill continued: “Sinn Féin accepts that it is up to us to convince unionists of the merits of a new Ireland and we are confident that we have the economic, social and political arguments to do so.
“Independent studies have already concluded that the island’s economy would benefit to the tune of €35 billion. Can any responsible political party really close their minds to that simply because it isn’t what they want to hear?
“We are confident about reunification. We are confident in our analysis and our vision of hope for the future.
“Unionism now needs to ask itself if it is as confident about the benefits of a union that has brought us Brexit, austerity, partition, conflict and decades of inequality and discrimination?”
The National Conference, ‘An Agreed Future?’ takes place in the Waterfront, Belfast at 12pm on Saturday June 24th. You can read Michelle O’Neill’s full article here: http://eamonnmallie.com/2017/06/tide-turns-favour-new-ireland-michelle-o-neill/