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Countdown to a United Ireland - McGuinness

10 April, 2007

Addressing the large number of republicans from Donegal and West Tyrone who attended at the annual Easter Drumboe Commemoration in Stranorlar on Sunday, Mid-Ulster Sinn Féin MP Martin Mc Guinness said that he believed that the countdown had begun to Irish Unity.

In a wide-ranging speech in which he outlined the positive dynamic of recent political events he said,

"As the process progresses, more people are recognising that we have now entered the end phase of our struggle. I truly believe that we have begun the countdown to a united Ireland, and we are continuing to get that message out as widely as possible.

"But Sinn Fein is the only party with the courage to say it aloud, and encourage proper management of the transition. Denying the obvious will serve no purpose, other than to give false hope to those wishing it were not so.

Martin Mc Guinness went on to say that in recent times, other parties in the Irish Republic had been anxious to show their united Ireland credentials but while this was welcome, he said rhetorical republicanism at election time would fool nobody.

"If they are serious about their aspirations for a united Ireland, then I challenge them to join with us and with like-minded campaign groups, trade unions and other interested sections of our society to create an alliance for Irish unity.

"The potential to progress an all-Ireland strategy for ensuring full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement is tremendous.

"Those who attempt to interpret our participation in implementing the Agreement as a dilution of our determination to achieve Irish unity and independence could not be more mistaken."

The Sinn Fein MP said that, as republicans entered the final lap in the journey towards a united Ireland, they must try to understand the anxieties of unionists for whom such change was a terrifying prospect.

Earlier on Easter Sunday, there were large turn outs of republicans at local commemorations at Aghyaran, Cranagh and Strabane in memory of republicans from the area who had lost their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom. ENDS

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