Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD will travel to Australia this weekend for an intensive series of engagements in Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.
During the trip she will brief federal and state representatives, deliver a keynote address to the National Press Club in Canberra and speak at events hosted by the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Sydney Chapter of Trinity Alumni.
She will meet with trade union leaders, representatives of indigenous organisations and attend Irish community events. She will also meet with young Irish people, including construction workers and nurses, who are once again making the long journey to Australia due to government failure.
This is her first trip to Australia since becoming Sinn Féin President and the Leader of the Opposition.
Ms. McDonald said:
“I am travelling to Australia later this week to attend events in Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane, and I look forward to meeting with political representatives at Federal and State level, business and trade union leaders, indigenous organisations and the Irish community in Australia.
“Our message in Australia will be clear. Now is the time to strengthen ties between our two great countries. Now is the time to assert the primacy of politics and democracy and now is the time to prepare for orderly, democratic and peaceful constitutional change in Ireland.
“To those young Irish people who have made the journey in recent months to Australia – I want you to know that we are working hard to change things for you, so that you can come home and be part of the new Ireland we are building.
“Change is happening across Ireland. Sinn Féin leads the Opposition for the first time, Michelle O’Neill was elected First Minister Designate in the recent Assembly elections and the conversation around Irish Unity is happening all around us. This seismic change is happening as we approach the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement – an agreement that shows what can be achieved when people come together in common purpose and it also gives us the roadmap to the future. The next phase is the reunification of Ireland. It is an exciting and positive time, full of potential. Irish Unity is about opportunity. The social and economic opportunities are immense, and we want to see them realised.
“As we prepare for these opportunities, we are dealing with the fallout of a toxic Brexit and an all-out attack on the Good Friday Agreement by the Tory government in London who have allowed the DUP to block the formation of the Executive in Belfast and who intend once again to break international law. While the resignation of Boris Johnson is welcome news in Ireland, whoever succeeds him in 10 Downing Street must change direction and re-commit to the Good Friday Agreement and abide by international law.
“This trip is about change, opportunity and international solidarity. Ireland can be a united country, one that stands as a bastion of social equality, economic justice, diversity and inclusion. These are values we share with the people of Australia.”