Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Matt Carthy TD, and Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, are travelling to Australia next week for an intensive series of engagements in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. This follows Mary Lou McDonald’s first visit to Australia as Leader of the Opposition last year.
During the trip, they will meet with government ministers and parliamentarians at Federal and State level, including Foreign Minister Penny Wong, to discuss ongoing change in Ireland, the need for the political institutions to be re-established in the north and to look at how Australia is delivering in key areas such as health, affordable housing and climate change.
They will also meet with young Irish people, Irish community organisations and Trade Union leaders and speak at a number of events hosted by the Irish Australia Chambers of Commerce and European Australian Business Council.
On Wednesday, Pearse Doherty will deliver a keynote address at the launch of Australia Friends of Irish Unity in Sydney and on Friday Matt Carthy will address the Friends of Ireland group in the Parliament of Victoria.
Speaking in advance of the trip, Matt Carthy said:
“We are travelling to Australia next week to deepen links between our two countries, to talk about what is happening in Ireland, north and south and also to discuss what is happening in Australia and how they are dealing with challenges such as climate change, health and affordable housing. We look forward to meeting with political representatives at Federal and State level, business and trade union leaders and the Irish community in Australia during our visit next week.
“This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a historic peace accord which has delivered so much change in Ireland. We need to continue to build on that. In the North, twice in the last 12 months, the people resoundingly endorsed Sinn Féin’s positive message of getting the Executive up and running. Michelle O’Neill stands ready to lead an Executive for all while others continue to block the political institutions being formed. The coming months must see this change. We need government to deliver for all the people of the north.
“During the trip we will be meeting with young Irish workers. While the Irish economy is strong another generation again looks to the hope of a better life here in Australia. Not because there’s no work but because they are prevented from building a good future at home. The housing crisis is at the centre of this great failure. Sinn Féin is working night and day to change things, so they can come home to a new Ireland.
“This is a time for optimism and for hope in Ireland. Change is happening all around us and the last three elections on our island have shown that this demand for change is powerfully shaping a new future. We are witnessing ever growing support for Irish unity and the opportunities for our island and our economy are immense with the right leadership. Support for Irish Unity among the Irish diaspora and the international community is critical and the launch of Australia Friends of Irish Unity is a key part of all of this work.”