Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity

Kevin Meagher reports on the further progress towards a concrete plan for Irish unity from Sinn Féin, and asks whether this shows how far Northern Ireland has come in the last few years.

 

The leadership of Sinn Féin will meet today to take stock of the party’s historic mission to unify the island of Ireland.

90 years after the partition of the country, following Ireland’s War of Independence and the subsequent treaty with Britain, 100 key party figures will gather at a hotel in Drogheda Co Louth in the Irish Republic to plot their next moves in turning a long-cherished dream into reality.

This gathering of the republican elite follows a series of mass meetings across Ireland – both North and South – in a bid to begin the process of building a consensus around unifying the country. There have also been events in London, the US and Canada involving the Irish Diaspora.

Last month Derry’s Millennium Fort was host to 1000 people at a Uniting Ireland conference which included protestant ministers and even Ulster Unionist Party MLA, Basil McRae.

This kind of involvement – even when restating established political differences – would have been utterly unthinkable just a handful of years ago. Now, Northern Ireland’s fast-evolving political dispensation is making dialogue – if not always agreement – possible.

Such is the change in atmosphere that a joint call was made earlier this week from Northern Ireland’s first minister and Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson and deputy first minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, for prayers to be offered-up for the recovery of one-time unionist hardliner, the Rev Ian Paisley – who remains in intensive care following heart problems.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, Sinn Féin’s president, Gerry Adams TD, said that Irish unity remained his movement’s “key political objective”.

He added:

“Making progress on this involves building political strength, developing strategies, challenging partitionism, engaging with other political parties and society, reaching out to the diaspora and taking part in a dialogue with our unionist neighbours.”

The Good Friday Agreement and the all-Ireland political institutions are an important step in this direction, but more effort is needed.

He argued that the party needed to focus on popularising Irish re-unification while building “structures and policies which transcend the border and engage with unionist opinion” saying that “their identity, self-interest and quality of life will be best served in a new Ireland, a new republic for the 21st century.”

Today’s event follows a call last week from Martin McGuinness for a referendum on Irish unity sometime after 2016.

See also:

The Week Outside Westminster – UUP down, Leanne Wood up, and Miliband in ScotlandEd Jacobs, February 4th 2012

McGuinness in Irish unity poll callKevin Meagher, January 31st 2012

UUP infighting as McNarry says he feels “abused” and has been “kicked in the teeth”Ed Jacobs, January 31st 2012

The Week Outside Westminster – Leading questions and questioning leadersEd Jacobs, January 28th 2012

What’s the point of the UUP?Ed Jacobs, January 19th 2012

19 Responses to “Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity”

  1. Political Planet

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity: Kevin Meagher reports on the further progress towards a concrete… http://t.co/uiAWJP9E

  2. Fiona Edwards

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity: leadership meet today to take stock of the party’s historic mission http://t.co/dgt8uTks

  3. Johnny Heartbreaker

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity: leadership meet today to take stock of the party’s historic mission http://t.co/dgt8uTks

  4. Michael Carr

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity, writes @kevinpmeagher: http://t.co/F4UIzpBJ

  5. Pulp Ark

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity http://t.co/jwspAbfe #Clean_Politics #Ian_Paisley #Irish_Republicanism #muslim #tcot #sioa

  6. Jayne Fisher

    Read @KevinPMeagher piece on SF Uniting Ireland mtg: http://t.co/bc9VSuKQ

  7. Stephen Bell

    Read @KevinPMeagher piece on SF Uniting Ireland mtg: http://t.co/bc9VSuKQ

  8. Anonymous

    If they want Irish unity just get the English to vote on it!

  9. Mr. Sensible

    I’d have thought they would be more careful before opening that one up again…

  10. Irish Directory

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity | Left Foot Forward: Kevin Meagher reports on the further progres… http://t.co/SCdXo6Fz

  11. Sligo Hotels

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity | Left Foot Forward: Kevin Meagher reports on the further progres… http://t.co/UgCTfSFM

  12. Irish Hotels

    Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity | Left Foot Forward: Kevin Meagher reports on the further progres… http://t.co/HSCIATp3

  13. Tweet Dublin

    RT @leftfootfwd: Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity http://t.co/ej8u7kQ8 #UnitedIreland #Ireland

  14. Ex-NILP

    The day’s of English imperialism is over. it’s up to the people of Northern Ireland to decide if they want to remain part of the UK or link up with the Irish Republic.

  15. Newsbot9

    Why? If Scotland goes independent, NI is going to be in an impossible situation, both politically and economically.

  16. Ex-NILP

    If Scotland ‘go independent’ then the UK is finished. The English would immediately seek to go it alone. Then the only option for Northern Ireland would be to seek some sort of arrangement with the Irish Republic. Of course, the Republic could make itself more ‘unionist friendly’ should such a situation arise. Joining the Commonwealth (which is packed with republics) might be a start.

  17. Anonymous

    Or the English could just vote for their own independence! It can cut both ways.

  18. Sinn Féin’s twin aims: Winning friends in the north and finding some southern comfort | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Sinn Féin plans next moves towards Irish unity 10 Feb […]

  19. Football’s gesture of respect on the anniversary of a massacre | Left Foot Forward

    […] Sinn Fein plans next moves towards Irish unity 10 Feb […]

Leave a Reply