August 13, 2020
Reflective and honest conversation required on failure of partition – Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said events to mark the centenary of partition must include a reflective and honest conversation of its failure and form part of the discussion on a new future. 

Speaking after meeting the British prime minister today, Michelle O’Neill said: 

“I met today with British prime minister Boris Johnson to discuss a range of issues. 

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic which is still highly dangerous and we discussed our response to that. 

“I also reiterated to both leaders the joint request for a meeting of the British Irish Council to discuss our response to COVID-19 and ensure it is coordinated across the island and across these islands so that we have a common sense approach. 

“We also discussed the impact the pandemic is having on our economy and I made it clear that we need to rebuild our economy on a fair and balanced basis. We cannot build on the basis of Tory austerity. 

“Our economy also faces a huge threat from Brexit and I made clear to Boris Johnson that the protections secured for the north in the Irish Protocol must be maintained and that there is an urgent need for clarity. 

“I pressed him also on the need to address the legacy of the past and, in particular, on the issue of a victims pension and outlined to him that a political solutions needs to be found which would allow the pension to be paid to all victims with no one left behind. 

“It is unacceptable that victims have had to wait and I reiterated to the British prime minister that action is required urgently. 

“Announcements were also made today on the plans to mark the centenary of the partition of this island and I made it clear this is not a cause for celebration for nationalists and republicans. Partition failed this island and failed Britain. It not only divided our island but also our people and was devastating for our economy. 

“Any event or forum looking at the centenary of partition must include a reflective and honest conversation on partition, its failure and how we move in to a new decade.”

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