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The days of a unionist veto over change are gone – Kearney

6 February, 2022 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA, has said the days of a unionist veto over change are gone, and that there will be no unionist veto over power sharing in the north. 

 Speaking at a 50th Anniversary commemoration for IRA Volunteers Phelim Grant and Charles McCann at Cargin cemetery in County Antrim, Declan Kearney said:

“We are now faced with a new crisis created by the DUP within our political process. It is a crisis about power sharing and whether unionism is prepared to accept that political power should be shared in this state.

“At its core is the old mantra that ‘no nationalist need apply’; that no nationalist should apply for the position of First Minister.

“The DUP has made it clear that it does not want to operate or implement the Good Friday Agreement. They do not want power sharing, unless it is on their terms. They don’t want democracy, unless that is on their terms. 

“The challenge which political unionism has created for itself now is whether it will accept the direction of change in this society. That is the political crux of the next Assembly election.”

Turning to the stance of unionist political leaders, the South Antrim MLA said:

“Political unionist leaders need to understand they cannot stop the change which is now happening in plain sight.

“We are in the end game. Constitutional change is fixed on the political horizon. Unprecedented change is happening. My message to those from the Protestant and unionist traditions is that we want you to join us in managing that change.

“Political unionism has never served the interests of ordinary Protestant and unionist people. And the Tories do not care about anyone who lives here. It is now time for change - big change; constitutional change. 

“The days of the unionist veto are gone and they are finished. So there will be no veto by the DUP over power sharing. And there will be no veto exercised by the DUP, and this British government over constitutional change in Ireland.

“The shadow of partition is being eclipsed by a new future. That is, a new Ireland which will be modern, inclusive and welcoming: A new Ireland, where we will have citizens’ rights, and where there will be social progress: A new national democracy which will be built on foundations of anti-sectarianism and self-determination.” 

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