A century on from the treaty, a new and united Ireland is within sight - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Marking the centenary of the signing of the treaty, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said "a new and United Ireland is within sight" and that we will "see the ending of partition and the unification of all of our people, in our time".
Ms McDonald said:
"The treaty brought about the British government’s disastrous partition of Ireland. It was forced upon Ireland under the British threat of an immediate and terrible war.
"It led to a sectarian state in the six counties and a deeply conservative state in the 26 Counties. It was a far cry from the vision set out by republican leaders in the Proclamation of 1916.
"A century on, the politics of partition have come full circle. We are living in the end days of partition. People are looking to the future.
"We can right the wrongs of the treaty by building a new and united Ireland, a home to all of our people regardless of background or identity.
"We are on the threshold of writing the next chapter of Irish history. We need to begin to prepare for the reunification of Ireland.
“This includes both governments. The Irish government must take the lead and become persuaders rather than by-standers in the Unity conversation.
"While the British government cannot continue with its damaging policy of resisting the appetite for real and positive change in Ireland.
“There is an immediate need to convene a Citizens' Assembly to actively discuss and plan for constitutional change.
"The politics of division belongs to the past. This generation, from all backgrounds, is determined to move forward.
"The opportunities of Irish Unity for our people are immense. This is a moment of great optimism and excitement.
"This is our moment. A moment that belongs to everyone who calls this island home. Let's seize it together and for each other."