21 June 2017
Unionism urged to join debate on shaping a new and agreed Ireland
‘Sinn Féin accepts that it is up to us to convince unionists of the merits of a new Ireland and we are confident that we have the economic, social and political arguments to do so’
SPEAKING ahead of a national conference in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Saturday, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill has called on political unionism to join the debate about shaping a new and agreed Ireland.
The leader of Sinn Féin in the North said:
“We are confident that we have the economic, social and political arguments to convince unionists of the merits of a new Ireland.
“Unionism now needs to ask itself if it is as confident about the benefits of a Union that has brought us Brexit, austerity, partition, conflict and decades of inequality and discrimination.”
Writing on the Eamonn Mallie website, Michelle O’Neill (pictured) added:
“The trend is obvious. There is a growing nationalist and republican vote, there is a growing progressive vote that is looking for real change.”
The Tyrone MLA pointed out that, in the recent Westminster election, unionist parties failed to secure 50% of the vote for the first time in the northern state despite pitching it as a referendum on the Union.
“If the result was a high water mark for unionism then the tide is certainly turning because the growing nationalist electorate have clearly turned their back on Westminster and now see the future based on all-Ireland and European representation,” Michelle O’Neill said.
She also said:
“Sinn Féin accepts that it is up to us to convince unionists of the merits of a new Ireland and we are confident that we have the economic, social and political arguments to do so.
“Independent studies have already concluded that the island’s economy would benefit to the tune of €35billion. Can any responsible political party really close their minds to that simply because it isn’t what they want to hear?”
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures