Speaking in the Seanad the Chairperson of Sinn Féin’s Task Force on Irish Unity Senator Pearse Doherty said the full economic development of the island of Ireland cannot be realised while we have division, duplication and disruption as a result of the border.
Senator Doherty called on all parties in the Oireachtas to return to their commitment to a united Ireland which is inserted in the Constitution.
Senator Doherty said: “I welcome this opportunity to address developments in the peace process and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the St. Andrew’s Agreement. It is important also that in this context we also address the need for all-Ireland development, an end to partition and national reunification. “I noted the remarks earlier this year of Minister of State Martin Mansergh to the effect that the economic recession makes Irish unity a less attractive prospect. I reject that. The reality is that the full potential of the island of Ireland in terms of economic development cannot be realised while we have division, duplication and disruption as a result of the border. Full and sustainable economic recovery will require an all-Ireland approach.
“Therefore I want to use this opportunity to urge all parties in the Oireachtas to return to their commitment, and the commitment inserted in the Constitution by the Good Friday Agreement, to a united Ireland, achieved by peaceful and democratic means. The Constitution, in Article 3, states that it is the ‘firm will of the Irish nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland…’ “That is more than an aspiration.
If it is our firm will – and it certainly is Sinn Féin’s – we need to work for it in practical ways. We need to convince people across the island that unity is necessary to meet our full potential and that it makes economic sense. We need to convince unionists in sufficient numbers that their long-term future rests in co-operation with their neighbours on this island. And we need to ensure that the British Government faces up to its responsibility and facilitates the process of unification.”