Sinn Féin publishes advertisement in The New York Times calling for ‘Irish unity in our time’

The half-page ad in the New York Times today calls for the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly for Irish Unity.

Source: Christina Finn

Political correspondent Christina Finn reports from New York

Sinn Fein today published an advertisement in The New York Times newspaper calling on the Irish government to convene a citizens’ assembly on Irish unity.

The half-page ad addressed to the Taoiseach, paid for by Friends of Sinn Féin Inc, calls for “Irish unity in our time”.

“We believe it is imperative that the Irish Government plans, prepares and defends Irish unity as set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

“We call on the Irish government to convene a citizens’ assembly to plan Irish unity. The relationship between Ireland and America is one of kinship and family forged over generations,” the advertisement reads.

He goes on to say that the Good Friday Agreement is the framework on how to resolve current political differences and a roadmap for future peaceful and democratic change.

“A constant in an ever-changing world has been the bipartisan support in the United States for the agreement in Congress by successive administrations and by all who share a common bond with Ireland.

“We believe Irish unity is the strong will of the Irish nation and will serve the best interests of all who share the island, citizens overseas and the wider diaspora. We can be the generation that will deliver Irish unity in our time,” the ad concludes.

The adverts follow a similar campaign last year, also organized by the US fundraising arm of Sinn Féin.

Some have denounced high-profile adverts aired amid Brexit tensions last year, but media campaigns bear witness to Sinn Féin’s growing efforts to highlight the call for a referendum on Irish unity abroad .

Ad running in US newspapers this week

The ad published today in the New York Times will also appear in the Washington Post later this week, as well as in the LA Times and other US newspapers.

Fine Gael’s Charlie Flanagan denounced the adverts, saying they are “unnecessary and dangerous”. He said The newspaper:

“Sinn Fein playing in front of the American public is like giving a child a box of matches to play with.”

Talk to The newspaper in New York today, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald defended the ads.

“I think both sets of ads are about the reality that things have changed and are changing and the reality that we have to prepare for that change. So I think the call for the Irish government to convene a citizens’ assembly and begin the process of preparation and engagement makes good sense,” McDonald said.

McDonald’s is in New York for two days before heading to Washington DC to attend many of the St. Patrick’s Day events this year.

“We saw in a different context, when Brexit was on the horizon, and those proposing Brexit kept telling us quite silly, ‘Brexit is Brexit’, I mean, what is And you see the consequences of that, of a lack of preparation and a lack of thought and we don’t want that to happen.

“I think it is in all of our interests that we have good order that we have a space led by the Irish Government where all viewpoints can really engage on issues, whether in terms of service health for all of Ireland, economic model or education. across the island or cultural issues or symbolic issues,” McDonald said.

“All of these things need to be sorted out and the government has kind of gotten its feet wet with the shared unity of the island. The dialogues are good. We support that for what it’s worth, but we know it’s not enough. It’s not sufficient. So that’s what today’s ads are about,” she added.

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‘Absurdity’

When asked what she thought of the criticisms against the ads, she replied that it was “nonsense”.

“It is the job of politics and political leaders to lead. And I’ve been saying this for a long time, and I’ve said it privately to people and I’ve said it publicly, sticking your head in the sand isn’t the answer.

“This is not how you manage and shape political change. It’s very, very important now that there’s a real appreciation that the Unionist majority in the North is gone – who left in the last election, they’re not coming back.

“There is a dynamic of change all over the island. I think it’s partly generational. I think things come from their time. And the Good Friday Agreement provides for referendums. They will happen and therefore the wisest thing to do is to be prepared for them,” she said.

During the visit to New York, McDonald will meet with Irish American community organizations, while in Washington DC she is due to meet with congressional leaders and members of the Biden administration.

McDonald will also attend the Ireland Funds Dinner which will be attended by the Taoiseach as well as high profile US politicians.

On Thursday, McDonald’s will attend the President’s Luncheon on Capitol Hill, as well as the traditional Shamrock Ceremony at the White House.

It has long been a tradition for the Sinn Féin leader to attend St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House.

TheJournal.ie political correspondent Christina Finn brings you all the latest updates from Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s visit to Washington DC this week, including his meeting with US President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Stay informed by following @christinafinn8, @thejournal_ie Where @TJ_Politics and TheJournal.ie Facebook page.

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