Taoiseach must live up to commitments to northern nationalists – Kearney
Speaking following the publication of an open letter from over one thousand signatories to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar a two-page advertisement in today's Irish News, Sinn Féin National Chairperson and South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney said:
"The publication of this open letter to An Taoiseach signed by over one thousand representatives of northern civic nationalism, and others from the 26 counties state, is a powerful intervention in support of the rights of Irish citizens in the north of Ireland.
"This initiative gives clear expression to the frustrations and expectations of republican, nationalist, and other progressive opinion in the north.
"The rights of these citizens and those who identify as Irish here continue to be denied by both the DUP and British Government.
"It is an outrage the north remains a rights back water where language, marriage equality, women's reproductive health and legacy justice rights remain blocked.
"Northern nationalists are absolutely fed up with the denial of democracy in this state.
"The most extreme elements in political unionism, the DUP and British Government are engaged in a full frontal assault against the Good Friday Agreement. The Brexit catastrophe will deepen the rights deficit in the north and can only further destabilise the political process.
"Those who have courageously signed this letter are saying the negative positions of the DUP and British Government will not be tolerated.
"They are citizens who want the political institutions reestablished, but on the basis of equality and democratic rights.
"The signatories have called upon the Irish Government to live up to its expressed commitments made to northern nationalists, and to fulfil its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement.
"It is time for the Irish Government to step up to the mark by absolutely opposing the imposition of Brexit and guaranteeing equality and rights for citizens in the north.
"An Taoiseach and the Irish Government must reflect very carefully about the significance of this intervention, respond positively, and act decisively in cooperation with the political representatives of Irish citizens in the north to ensure their rights are delivered upon."