March 1, 2024
“Irish Unity is the defining issue in today’s Ireland” Declan Kearney speaking in Barcelona

Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney MLA is in Barcelona. He addressed an international conference on Irish self-determination organised by the Catalan cultural organisation CIEMEN.  During his visit Declan Kearney also met with representatives from the Catalan Parliament, including ‘Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)’, ‘Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP)’ and ‘Junts per Catalunya.’

Addressing the conference on the pivotal issue of national self-determination Declan Kearney said:

“National self-determination is the essential, international struggle of our time. This is what lies at the heart of the two most violent conflicts in the world at this moment. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people are direct denials of self-determination.

The world we live in is dominated by this issue – the national democratic struggle – and the aspiration of nations to make their own laws and decide their relations with other nations.

The Charter of the United Nations expressly establishes the right to self-determination in Article1, paragraph 2.

On the island of Ireland constitutional change is now on the political horizon. The potential for a United Ireland has become the defining issue today.

Of course, Irish reunification is not inevitable, but it is closer than at any time in history.

We envisage its achievement through a transitional process based upon democratic engagement with, and persuasion of, all citizens in Ireland.

Sinn Féin’s primary aim is to secure an end to partition, and achieve a new constitutional, national democratic settlement. A rights’ based, multi cultural and inclusive society. 

Our objectives are to achieve the unity referenda – promised in the Good Friday Agreement – in this decade and to lead the government in the South while leading the power sharing coalition in the North.

But the planning and preparing for constitutional change must begin now.

The Irish government presently, and in the future must act as a persuader for reunification.

The British government needs to accept the political reality that partition has failed and there is no alternative to a new constitutional national democratic settlement on the island of Ireland.”

Declan Kearney also spoke about the genocide by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people and the recent massacre of starving people in northern Gaza. He said:

“Gaza has been almost levelled. Starvation is now a weapon in the arsenal of the Israeli government. Genocide and ethnic cleansing are being carried out by the Israeli state against the Palestinian people. There must be a permanent, unconditional ceasefire now. The genocide in Gaza has brought many fundamental questions into focus. The entire concept of ‘human and civil rights’ and even food security have been weaponised.

This is at a time when rights need to be more than ever vigorously asserted and protects.”

Concluding the Sinn Féin National Chair said:

The exercise of national self-determination is more important than ever. It is the foundation stone upon which good relationships between nations can be built.”

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