Irish Unity is achievable and winnable – Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is in Tralee, County Kerry this evening for the launch of a new book entitled: ‘IRELAND’S HUNGER FOR JUSTICE.
The book tells the story of the hunger strikes undertaken by republicans in the last century beginning with Thomas Ashe in September 1917 and ending with the ten republican hunger strikers in 1981. The book was written by the Tomás Ághas Centenary Memorial Committee.
Speaking about the current political situation in the North Gerry Adams reiterated Sinn Féin’s commitment to the restoration of the political institutions.
“Negotiations to try and restore the political institutions in the North are taking place between the local parties and the Irish and British governments.
"Sinn Féin is fully committed to the power sharing institutions and we are working diligently to restore them.
"However, the lesson of recent years is clear; the political institutions can only work if they are based on equality, respect and integrity.”
The Sinn Féin leader also expressed his confidence that Irish Unity is achievable and winnable and he urged republicans, as part of the strategy to win Irish unity, to engage with unionism and seek their support.
“Brexit has reenergised and reshaped the debate about a United Ireland. There are many more people talking positively about a United Ireland than at any time in recent years.
"It is increasingly acknowledged as the outcome most capable of producing lasting peace, political stability and economic prosperity. Of course, it is essential that those of us who want a United Ireland articulate that view clearly, positively and in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.
"If we are serious about a United Ireland then we have to agree strategies that promote it. We have to present convincing and cogent arguments in favour of it.
"And we have to engage with unionism and seek to persuade that part of our society to support Irish unity.
"The potential for progress demands a new approach aimed at unlocking unionist opposition to a new future by reminding them of the positive contribution they have made to society on this island.
"Late last year Sinn Fein produced a discussion paper on Irish Unity. Others have produced detailed economic papers on the benefits of unity.
"This year also saw the Irish government commit to holding a referendum on voting rights for Presidential elections for citizens in the North and within the Irish diaspora.
"The European Union has also said that following Brexit, and in the event of Irish reunification, the North would automatically become a member of the EU.
"Several months ago, just before the Dáil recess, I wrote to the leaders of the political parties in the Oireachtas about establishing an all-party Oireachtas Committee on Irish unity. Sinn Féin will also be bringing forward a White Paper on Irish Unity. And we want to see a referendum on unity in the next five years.
"We believe that Irish Unity is achievable and winnable. But it is not inevitable. It has to be worked for. It has to be planned for. There are no short cuts. It is a huge challenge for those of us who want to go beyond the rhetoric of a United Ireland to the actual achievement of that objective.
"A United Ireland, free and prosperous would be the best monument we could build to Thomas Ashe, Terence MacSwiney, Frank Stagg, Bobby Sands and all their compatriots who hungered for justice.”