Tuesday 20 March 2018

'It can't be the romantic pursuit of the fourth green field anymore' - FF Leader announces White Paper for united Ireland

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. Photo: Collins
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. Photo: Collins
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Fianna Fáil is to publish a white paper in the coming months proposing a strengthening of ties between the Republic and the North which could pave the way for Irish unification.

Party leader Micheál Martin told John Murray on Today with Sean O'Rourke this morning that they are preparing a 12-point-plan.

While discussing the proposed plan, Mr Martin said: "The catalyst for this in many ways is to move away from an emotion charged push towards Irish unity and to look at it in more practical terms"

He continued: "We are putting together a white paper that seeks to define what would a united Ireland look like if there was a referendum in line with the Good Friday Agreement."

He explained that the proposals would involved maintaining a Stormont Assembly and would continue to follow the "three-strand approach" as outlined in the agreement.

"In short there is an obligation on anybody who aspires to Irish unity to lay out a blueprint as to what it would look like and crucially it would have to involve the same relationships that are in the Good Friday Agreement."

The Opposition leader discussed the practical approach of the proposed white paper and the potential issues involved, saying: "The detail is far more difficult than the principal. It can't be the romantic pursuit of the fourth green field anymore"

"If we learn anything from Brexit, be wary of politicians promoting referendums or border poles because they become divisive and they become ugly.

When asked about Fianna Fáil refusal to enter government with Sinn Féin after the next election, the opposition leader said

"We are very mindful of the fact the the PSNI and Intelligence services have made it very clear that Sinn Féin is not a democratically run party and that shadowy forces and the army council of the IRA still control and dictate a lot of what goes on there."

Do you want to see a united Ireland?

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section