2021 must be the year to advance Irish Unity – Matt Carthy
“2021 can and must be the year that the Irish government starts to prepare for a United Ireland.”
So said Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, this week after he expressed disappointment that Taoiseach Mícheál Martin refused to engage on the subject in a meaningful manner during a discussion in the Dáil.
Deputy Carthy had asked the Taoiseach if the shared Island unit in his department would conduct an economic appraisal of the benefits and challenges that a United Ireland would present. The Taoiseach responded by asking Deputy Carthy why he had not condemned conflict related instances from 1979. The Sinn Féin TD retorted that this was a pathetic contribution from the head of government considered that he (Deputy Carthy) was just two years of age in 1979!
In his contribution to the debate Teachta Carthy had said:
“It appears from the Taoiseach’s response that the shared island unit will discuss everything relating to cross-Border issues apart from the potential to undo the Border itself.
“Does the Taoiseach accept that the Good Friday Agreement sets out the peaceful democratic route to reunify our country?
“Because, it clearly sets out a mechanism. Those of us who want to see Irish unity need to convince others that it is in their best interests, that we will all be collectively better off in a united Ireland and that we will be able to reach higher to meet the challenges that face our country.
“The Taoiseach has said on a number of occasions that he wants to see a united Ireland at some point in the future. I put it to him, therefore, that he has a responsibility, along with those of us who share that aspiration, to convince others that it is in their best interests.
“That means we have to talk about it. We have to talk about all of the challenges that unity will bring, but also the benefits it will bring.
“It is my firm belief that a united Ireland makes economic sense, that we will be better off and that we will have the capacity to make all of the people of our country, North, South, east and west, better off. To do that, we need to gather the information because there will be some who will contend otherwise.
“I do not understand the Taoiseach’s reticence and reluctance around carrying out an assessment of the economic benefits and challenges, if there are any, of Irish unity.
“Will the Taoiseach step up to the mark? This is the big, national conversation of our people.
“This is the generation who can deliver a united Ireland. I am asking the Taoiseach to be part of that, as opposed to being part of the barrier to it”.