Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has said the Irish government should immediately establish a Citizens’ Assembly on Irish unity.
Responding to remarks by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, Declan Kearney said:
“Today’s intervention by Leo Varadkar was both abjectly lacking in ambition and politically weak. There is a responsibility on the Irish government to plan for constitutional change on this island, and that should start with the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss for the future without any further delay.
“Recent elections north and south have shown that the appetite for change and a new Ireland has never been stronger. That reality cannot be ignored.
“Irish government ministers need to be a persuaders for a new Ireland, based on the will of the people, and to lead orderly preparations for unity referendums, north and south. This government should not be burying its head in the sand. Leadership needs to be demonstrated.
“This is a time for the Irish government to have ambition, and start developing a road map for an agreed, prosperous united Ireland. Partition has failed all our people. Political leaders should be engaged in visionary thinking and developing positive opportunities, rather than seeking to limit and reduce citizen’s aspirations.
“Brexit, the failures and reckless approach of the Tory government in London has become a huge catalyst for change in recent years. It is undeniable that a widespread popular discourse on a new constitutional future for Ireland has begun.
“The Irish government should be focused on catching up with that popular momentum. It needs to embrace a new approach. It should start the process of planning the transition to Irish unity, and use its formidable resources nationally, and internationally to place the constitutional future of our country at the centre of its diplomatic mission.”