Tag Archives: United Ireland

Sinn Féin: Diaspora has role in Ireland’s reunification

Irish republican political party Sinn Féin has released its Towards a United Ireland “discussion document” to renew debate about ending the nearly 100-year-old partition of Ireland. The party’s effort is spurred by the Brexit vote earlier this year.

The 60-page paper, in English and Irish, says the Irish diaspora has a vital role in accomplishing reunification of the island. Of note to Irish Americans, it says:

In the United States, the number of Irish and those of Irish descent numbers in the tens of millions and they enjoy significant political strength. … Many are openly supportive of a united Ireland. So, in any conversation about Irish reunification we need to involve the Irish Diaspora, to reach out to it and to marshal its political strength in support of our goals.

More on reaction to the document in a later post.

oldmap

Evolving Ireland: This 1937 map shows the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland 16 years after partition. The Republic of Ireland was created from the Free State in 1948.

 

Adams calls for “new Republic” in Ireland

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called for “a new republic” on the island of Ireland. In a recent County Donegal speech he criticized the 1922 partition for creating “two conservative states ruled in their narrow self-interests by two conservative elites.” Adams said:

The northern state was a one party state which reinforced the institutionalised use of discrimination, sectarianism and segregation. …This [southern] state is the product of the counter-revolution that followed the Rising and of a dreadful civil war which tore out the heart at that time of what remained of the generosity of our national spirit. As the idealism of the aborted revolution waned a native conservative elite replaced the old English elite with little real change in the organisation of Irish society and no real movement towards a rights based dispensation. …Religion was hijacked by mean men who used the gospel not to empower but to control, and narrow moral codes were enforced to subvert the instinctive generosity of our people.

For kicks, I did a select word analysis of Adams’ 3,000-word speech. My findings:

Catholic, 2; Protestant, 2; British/English, 6; Ireland, 16;  USA, 2; republic, 26; partition, 7; democracy/democratic, 11; religion, 1; Good Friday, 17; freedom, 1; justice, 3; equality, 17; fairness, 4; people, 14; politicians, 0; vote/s, 6; poll, 4; Sinn Féin, 11; Fianna Fail, 1;  Fine Gael, 4; Labour, 4; unionist/unionism, 12; united Ireland, 2.

The full speech is on the Sinn Féin website. News coverage in Irish Central included four pages of reader comments that cheer and disparage Adams.

Adams2Feb14_Swf

“People’s Referendum” shows support for united Ireland

An unofficial poll in two Ireland/Northern Ireland border communities shows strong support for re-uniting the island, The Irish Times reports.

Not surprisingly, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams welcomed the result, saying “a debate on Irish unity and the type of agreed Ireland people wish to create for the future has now begun.”

image

Other media outlets such as the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent and BBC ignored the vote organized by the pro-republican United Ireland – You Decide campaign. The 92 percent “Yes” tally among 1,000 or so ballots appears at odds with historical polling on the issue.

That said, it’s interesting to read the post-vote comments on the Facebook page of Protestants for a United Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 provides a mechanism for such a border poll. Some unionists have suggested holding a referendum as a way of calling the bluff of republicans, since another provision requires waiting seven years before allowing a second poll.

Six northeast counties were partitioned as Northern Ireland in 1922 as 26 southern counties achieved partial independence as the Irish Free State. Ireland is now at the beginning of a 10-year stretch of centennial anniversaries that are rekindling that history and debate.