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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

A Letter from Ireland - An Update on Political Developments

a chairde,

Quite a bit of news from the parish this week.

We had a great meeting with the leaders of Irish American Organisations to discuss all things Irish unity with Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald.

Unity is no longer a marginal issue for those that kept the faith. It is a mainstream discussion across all of Ireland.

Leo Varadkar used his leaders' speech at the Fine Gael annual conference to say that he believed there would be a united Ireland in his lifetime. The challenge for the Fine Gael leader, who takes over as Taoiseach, at the end of next year, is to direct an Irish Government to also plan and prepare for unity.

Over the past number of weeks, the Sinn Féin leadership had been meeting with the new leadership of the largest Unionist party, the DUP, and the British Government. The objective of the talks was to secure the implementation of outstanding commitments including an Irish Language Act.

Michelle O'Neill Deputy President of Sinn Féin

Irish Language Act Protest Stormont

In 2006 the British Government, as part of the St. Andrews Agreement, promised to legislate for an Irish Language Act in London. They failed to do so.

In January 2020 the DUP, all parties, and both governments agreed to measures that included an Irish Language Act to be introduced within three months in the Assembly in Stormont.

Edwin Poots, the new leader of the DUP, had made clear in discussions with Sinn Féin that he would not introduce the legislation.

Sinn Féin called on both governments, as signatories to the deal to act, and in particular for the British Government to introduce the legislation in London. This call was supported by other parties. The British Government agreed.

This allowed for the government in the North to be reconvened. Edwin Poots nominated, Paul Givan to be the new joint leader of the government with Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin.

So it looked like everything was back on track. But then in a political plot twist, it turned out that the majority of the DUP were against the nomination. Edwin Poots ignored this, went ahead, was summoned to party headquarters, and sacked after 21 days in charge.

All of this was within 24 hours. The DUP effectively sacked their leader because the British Government said it would honor an agreement that they and the DUP signed!!!.

Sacked DUP Leader Edwin Poots

This morning there was to be a meeting of Ministers from the North and South. This meeting is an essential and mandatory commitment on Ministers. The DUP has refused to attend and the meeting has been canceled.

The failure of unionist parties to come to terms with equality and respect is undermining the government. Their refusal to honor agreements is placing the Good Friday Agreement in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, we will get on with doing what is best for all the people, delivering public services, growing prosperity, respecting the equal rights of all, and building a new and united Ireland.

Enjoy your weekend and hope we all get a break!!




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