Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú has said that the acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, needs a reality check on the issue of Irish Unity.
Teachta Ó Murchú said;
“The first parliamentary question which I submitted to the 33rd Dáil was on the subject of Irish Unity.
“In his reply to me the Tánaiste Simon Coveney says that he is aware of the raft of recent polls, all of which indicate overwhelming and growing support for Irish Unity.
“If this is the case, Minister Coveney has a responsibility to act on this information and begin the process of planning for reunification.
“However the Minister, in his response, states that he does not believe that the majority of people in the North of Ireland are in favour of constitutional change.
“I challenge his opinion, and the most up to date polling results support my claim.
“Simon Coveney goes on to say that he thinks a unity referendum ‘would only increase uncertainty and division at an already difficult and sensitive time.’
“What evidence does he have that this would be the case?
“What the Minister is really looking for is an excuse to do nothing, to allow the status quo to persist.
“This is not good enough.
“The Minister also states that for the last year the Irish Government has been focussed on securing the ratification and implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
“While I commend the outgoing government on the Brexit negotiations, the truth is that Boris Johnson has already indicated that he intends to ‘get around’ some of the provisions contained within the Withdrawal Agreement.
“The caretaker Minister must know that there is only one permanent solution to Brexit and that is Irish Unity.
“It is imperative that the incoming government, which will hopefully be led by Sinn Féin, is proactive on this issue and that a Green Paper is produced as quickly as possible.
“At this time the only people not talking about Irish Unity is the Irish Government. This cannot continue, it is negligent and foolhardy of the government not to plan for the future and for Irish Unity.”