Kearney welcomes Taoiseach’s meeting with representatives of civic nationalism
Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney MLA, has welcomed the meeting between An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and individuals representative of civic nationalism in the north.
"In December 2017, northern civic nationalism mobilised to issue a public appeal to An Taoiseach, and the Irish government, to assert its obligations as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and fulfil its responsibility to uphold the rights of Irish citizens in the north.
"This important initiative reflects the continuing widespread discontent within northern nationalism towards the behaviour of the British government, DUP and political unionism.
“There is a strong conviction that the Irish government must act on its responsibility to protect their rights as Irish citizens, and the Irish cultural tradition and national identity in the north. That was further reinforced with a similar intervention two weeks ago by prominent individuals in the 26 counties.
"No citizen in the north regardless of political, religious, cultural background or sexual orientation should be denied rights and equality: these belong to everyone.
"In the absence of proper power sharing institutions in the north the Irish government should seek the establishment of the British and Irish Inter-Governmental conference to ensure that rights enjoyed in the rest of Ireland are introduced in the north.
"The decision by An Taoiseach and An Tánaiste to meet with a delegation from those signatories and to hear directly the views of northern civic nationalism at this time was particularly important, against the backdrop of the continued denial of rights in the north, the DUP's decision to collapse the recent negotiations, its political alliance with the Tory government, and the serious repercussions of Brexit.
"The Good Friday Agreement now faces its greatest threat since 1998. Northern nationalism expects the Irish government to defend and ensure full implementation of the Agreement.”