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Unity referendum ‘a historic opportunity to build society that serves all citizens’ – Carthy

22 September, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that securing a referendum on a united Ireland would be a momentous and historic opportunity to build a society that served all Irish citizens.

Carthy, who was speaking last night at a meeting in NUIG on a United Ireland, said:

“Something big is happening in Ireland right now. Brexit has accelerated a debate on Irish Unity that was always inevitable.

“The prospect of the North of Ireland being removed from the European Union against the will of the people there, and a reinforcing of the border in Ireland, has raised many questions about the future.

“Most people understand that it makes no political, economic or social sense to have one part of this island inside the EU and another outside.

“Many are saying that we need to look now at how to create new political structures that will benefit all of our people North and South.

“We must protect our industry, our farmers, our workers, and our students for whom Brexit is a potential catastrophe.

“Brexit has created an entirely new dynamic for the building of a new and agreed United Ireland.

“We should all be working together with the common objective of convincing the greatest possible number of people across Ireland that Unity is in their best interest.  

“And let us convince those who think otherwise that they have nevertheless nothing to fear from the outcome of a referendum.

“Brexit, as well as demographic and political changes in the North, have demonstrated that we urgently need an inclusive, constructive debate on our future. This must include constitutional options and what a United Ireland might look like.”

Carthy says that as Britain jettisoned its previous relationship with Europe, and becomes increasingly insular and isolated, the appeal of being part of a new and outward-looking Ireland would prove ever more attractive to young people from a unionist background.

“A new, united Ireland will be pluralist, inclusive, and accommodating to all our people in all their diversity. Let’s remember that the Orange tradition is an Irish tradition.

“Unionists and nationalists, North and South, cannot continue to seek to live separately. Our futures are bound together. Economy and society across the island of Ireland are intertwined. The prospect of Brexit has merely served to highlight that reality.

“Back-to-back development and wasteful duplication serves nobody, in either jurisdiction. It is unarguable that a United Ireland will act as a spur for economic growth, job creation and a society across the whole island where all our citizens can prosper.

“Securing a referendum on Irish unity would be a momentous and historic opportunity for all the people of Ireland, allowing us to vote for the kind of government and society we wish to see.

“We now have a unique opportunity to build a future beyond Partition, sectarianism and division. It is a historic opportunity to build a society that serves the interests of all the people who share this island. It’s an opportunity to deliver a United Ireland.  Let’s seize it.” 

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