Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy told the recent Sinn Féin Ard Fheis that a United Ireland is closer than ever.
“This year’s Ard Fheis sees us closer than ever to our historic goal of reuniting this country.
“As people witness the Brexit train coming into view:
As they see the possible return of border checkpoints in our country;
“As they recall decades of lectures on the need for republicans to recognise ‘the principle of consent’;
“And as they see contradiction of the British Government’s refusal to respect the will of the majority in the North on remaining in Europe;
“They see clearly once again the stark injustice of Partition.
People, North and South, have no intention of returning to the past.
“The political landscape has changed.
“The unionist political majority in the North is gone.
“A majority there want a referendum on Irish Unity.
“The largest bloc of young voters in the Six Counties support a united Ireland.
“There is no turning back the clock.
“Support for Irish unity will only increase as the implications of Brexit become clearer.
“If the North has changed, so too has the South.
“A whole generation has been politicised as a result of the economic crash and years of brutal austerity.
“Since Partition, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both turned their backs on the people of the North.
“They also both subjected working people in the South to inequality, economic failure and mass emigration.
“This state is not the republic envisaged by those who wrote the 1916 Proclamation – the republic of justice, equality and fairness.
“Between them, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil created a narrow, insular state that served the interests of economic elites and a golden circle of insiders.
“They handed control of our schools and hospitals to a conservative Church hierarchy.
“Women, children, ordinary working people, the poor and the vulnerable paid a severe price for all of this.
When the Northern state began to fall apart under the weight of simple democratic demands, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil turned many of the institutions of this state into mere adjuncts of Britain’s counter insurgency policy.
“They corrupted sections of the Gardaí.
“Meanwhile, they built an economic model based on the begging bowel, tax avoidance for multinational corporations, and the export of our youth.
But increasingly people of all ages across this state see through all the hypocrisy, all the can’t, the lack of idealism or vision.
“They are turning away from the conservative parties.
“Sinn Féin has already broken the mould of the stale, corrupt and dishonest two-and-a-half party system which has, up until this point seen one rotten Fianna Fáil government being replaced by a rotten Fine Gael government, implementing the exact same policies, only to be replaced by another rotten Fianna Fáil government.
“That is why our opponents resent us so much.
“That is why they spend so much time attacking us.
“They know our fierce determination to bring about a real republic based on social justice and equality.
“In their many terms in Government neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil did anything to advance Irish unity.
“But the growing strength of Sinn Féin, North and South, has brought a United Ireland closer than it has ever been.
“And, now those who have often paid lip service to the cause of Irish Unity freeze like rabbits in headlights because it is actually achievable.
“Their response? – Michéal Martin and Fianna Fáil tell us it’s not the right time.
“What sort of political leadership is that?
They want to leave it to the next generation to deliver a United Ireland, to forge a new, egalitarian republic.
“Well, Micháel, you’ve already left the next generation with €64Billion in bank debt – Fianna Fáil have left enough for the next generation.
“THIS generation must be determined to bring about Irish Unity knowing as we do that it can create the opportunity to bring about the fundamental political, social and economic change Ireland so desperately needs.
“We have a unique opportunity in the time ahead to build a new Ireland;
“An opportunity to build an equal society that serves the interests of all the people who share this island.
“Political leadership is required. Sinn Féin is in the business of nation building.
“Of providing leadership.
“History will judge harshly those parties that fail to provide that leadership, that offer excuses about timing rather than seizing historic opportunities.
“Together, we can build that New republic.
“Together, we can move Towards a United Ireland.
“Ar aghaidh linn le chéile!”