Monday 20 May 2019

Irish reunification a 'real prospect', says Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill (Niall Carson/PA Wire)
Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Allan Preston

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill has said division caused by Brexit has made a united Ireland "a very real prospect".

"Brexit, as well as other political and societal changes, will continue to drive events towards the logic of Irish unity," she said.

Her statement was issued as DUP leader Arlene Foster said a call for a border poll would be strengthened if Sinn Féin became the largest party in Northern Ireland at the council elections.

Mrs O'Neill said the prospect of a return to a hard border in Ireland had "horrified the vast majority of people" and would reverse progress across Ireland.

She added it had become increasingly clear that partition had become "a huge obstacle" to prosperity.

She said the Good Friday Agreement provides a democratic resolution to the problems caused by Brexit in "a democratic referendum on Irish reunification".

"A united Ireland is no longer a long-term aim and a referendum on Irish unity is now a very real prospect," she said.

Ahead of events over Easter weekend, Mrs O'Neill said the party was campaigning for a referendum under the slogan 'Time for Unity'.

"We want as many people as possible to begin discussing how we share this island as the future unfolds," she said.

Belfast Telegraph

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