Secret to unity is Irish abroad - Adams
Secret to unity is Irish abroad - Adams

Campaigns to lobby for a united Ireland could tap into the huge Irish populations living in the US and in Britain, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said.

Later this month the party is to stage a major event at Dublin’s Mansion House marking the sitting of the first Dail, which followed the rise of Sinn Féin nearly a century ago.

Ninety years after the events that led to the war of independence, ‘modern’ Republicans hope to build on the current peace process to lobby internationally for Irish unity.

Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a simple majority within the Six-County area could bring about reunification. Mr Adams said his party wanted to encourage a debate towards ending partition.

“All of this is part of a process,” he said.

“I like to judge it, because it’s convenient to do so, in a 40-year span.

“And 40 years in a lifetime is huge but in history it’s only a blink.

“If you consider what things were like here [across Ireland] 40 years ago, in terms of both the Orange state, the conservative, impoverished state in the south, the fragmented and very minimalist republican development and then you fast-forward to now - without for a moment minimising all the tragedies and difficulties that have occurred in between - you can see how things have moved ahead.

“That’s what’s going to happen in the up-coming period.

“It’s an incremental process of building the republic day by day.”

Sinn Féin had looked at building on the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, he said, while also considered options for galvanising support for a united Ireland among people on the island and among Irish communities in Britain and the US.

He conceded the international media may have moved on from focusing on Ireland.

“But the Irish diaspora haven’t,” he said.

“We are regularly engaged with the Irish diaspora and if you move outside the diaspora and talk to anyone, they will tell you - and I defy anyone to contradict this - that most people who know anything about Ireland know the British government should have no claim or jurisdiction.

“What we have to do is galvanise that.”

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