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Adams surprised by Taoiseach’s Time Magazine comments on Irish Unity

14 July, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has expressed his surprise at the remarks made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, during an interview with Time Magazine, in which he says that he is 'very much opposed' to a referendum on Irish reunification.

Speaking from Dublin this afternoon, Teachta Adams said;

“I was surprised by the comments made by the Taoiseach that he opposes a referendum on Irish Unity. This referendum is a central commitment of the Good Friday Agreement for which there is growing demand across Ireland.

“I am also surprised because in his manifesto for the leadership of Fine Gael, the Taoiseach stated, ‘We need to prepare for the possibility that a United Ireland or shared sovereignty will occur in our lifetime’.

“I have consistently argued that the Irish government should plan for Irish Unity and that the Taoiseach needs to be a persuader for ending partition.

“Irish Unity makes political, economic and social sense. Brexit has reshaped the context in which the national question is asked and considered.

“However, I welcome the fact that Mr Varadkar went on to say that he is in favour of ‘an agreed Ireland’ and that ‘we need to agree the arrangements and the relationships, north and south, east and west’.

“The Taoiseach does not say how he proposes to do this. Surely, it should involve a collective approach and the establishment of a forum in which ideas can be discussed. The Taoiseach must outline how he intends to advance this position.

“Sinn Féin believes there should be a referendum vote on Irish unity within the next five years. This referendum would be entirely winnable. All parties in this state, including Fine Gael, should work to develop a broad civic movement for Irish Unity.

“Now is the time to plan, to build and to win a new, agreed and United Ireland; a progressive prosperous, equal and inclusive Ireland; one in which all identities and traditions have a place and the opportunity to contribute to our shared nation.

“The Taoiseach and his government should embrace this vision and help to work to towards its realisation.” 

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