Responding this morning to remarks made by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that a referendum on Irish unity should not be held within the next five years, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has branded the remarks “utterly shameful” and has said that Fianna Fáil has abandoned any pretence of representing Republican values.
Teachta Doherty said;
“Micheál Martin’s remarks this morning are utterly shameful.
“At key moments during Brexit negotiations and in attempts to re-establish the northern institutions the positions of Fianna Fáil representatives and their leader have more closely mirrored those of the DUP than the position of Irish Republicans and Nationalists. We see that here again.
“Whilst Fianna Fáil occasionally pays lip service to its Republican roots, it has long since gave up any notion of bringing the Republic proclaimed in 1916 to fruition and has, under Micheál Martin’s leadership in particular, become the party of gombeen men that Mellows foretold would accept partition.
“It has become the ‘Anti-Republican’ Party by its deeds and actions.
“At a time when the demand for Irish unity is growing, it is time for the Irish government to begin meaningful engagement with the British government to arrange a date for a referendum on Irish unity in the north within five years – as well as putting in place plans for a referendum in this State; in line with the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement.
“There is nothing radical about any of this.
“A referendum on Irish unity is expressly provided for in the Good Friday Agreement; an agreement that was endorsed by the people of this island, north and south, overwhelmingly over 20 years ago.
“It is time the people had their say and it’s time we started planning for their verdict.”