British and Irish governments need to start preparing for Irish unity - Kearney
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has told the British Irish Association annual conference in Oxford that Irish unity is on the horizon, and that it’s time to prepare for constitutional change by both the British and Irish governments.
Declan Kearney said:
“The debate on Irish unity is now firmly on the agenda. We all need to bring reason, flexibility and generosity to how it is taken forward.
“The realignment of politics here in Ireland, and of political relations between Britain and Ireland is happening in plain sight. There is a need for both governments, all political parties and widest cross section of civic society to become involved in addressing the clear priorities.”
The Executive Office Minister in the north’s power sharing government also emphasised Sinn Féin’s commitment to the successful working of the political institutions.
“There is absolutely no contradiction in being wedded to the Good Friday Agreement power sharing arrangements and democratically persuading for a unity referendum to achieve Irish unity.
“The experience of partition has been disastrous. It continues to cast a long shadow in the form of enduring sectarianism, continuing community division and refusal by the British government to resolve the legacy of the past.
“In this centenary year which marks Ireland’s partition, the challenge now is to look beyond the past and move towards opening a new phase of the peace process based on reconciliation, equality, pluralism and progress.”