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Reilly challenges Cassells to debate on Irish unity

2 March, 2005

Sinn Féin candidate for the Meath by-election, Councillor Joe Reilly has challenged Fianna Fáil candidate, Shane Cassells to a debate on Irish unity. Speaking in Meath today Councillor Reilly said that there was an "urgent need" for a debate on this issue and that "the voters of Meath needed to know each candidate's position on Irish unity."

He said, "Last Friday Sinn Féin launched a campaign for a green paper on Irish unity. We in Sinn Féin believe that a united Ireland is not just a pipedream but a political reality which we need to to be planning for now. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Government to prepare for that eventuality.

"A united Ireland is also a stated aim of Fianna Fáil so I am calling on their candidate, Shane Cassells, to come and debate this issue with me and discuss how we can drive forward this common goal of our two parties. There is an urgent need for this issue to be debated before the election, the voters of Meath need to know each candidate's position on Irish unity.

"Fianna Fáil claim to be the republican party, so surely they should engage positively with this campaign. After all what is an Irish republican if not someone who strives for Irish unity. The question is though, is Shane Cassells a republican? Will he support the call for a green paper on Irish unity?" ENDS

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