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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Building a Coalition for Unity.

Sinn Féin recently launched a free quarterly e-zine on all things Irish Unity. Below is an article from Ciarán Quinn on the role of the Irish American in securing Irish Unity…. Please read and share.

Building a Coalition for Unity.

The vision of a new and united Ireland is shared across the world. It is the hope of many Irish citizens who emigrated through choice or were forced by necessity. It is the dream of the generations who hold dear to a link to Ireland.

Every phase in our struggle for freedom and independence has relied on other nations. Wolfe Tone while exiled in the United States made contact with France and traveled from there to Paris.

Tom Clarke, twice exiled to the United States, became a naturalized citizen while planning and fundraising for the Rising.

The Proclamation makes clear the standing of our “gallant allies in Europe” and our “exiled Children in America”.

In Australia, Canada, and the US, dockworkers refused to unload British ships in protest over the 1981 Hunger Strikes.

The Good Friday Agreement is an international agreement. facilitated by a US Envoy, underwritten by the EU, assisted by various renowned Canadians, and others from Finland and South Africa. It is the foreign policy success story of a generation. The fact that these international players remain committed twenty-three years later is a testament to their ownership and engagement.

The internationalization of our struggle has been central to progress. It has been built on generations of our diaspora. It is led by the descendants of those who escaped An Gorta Mór and the great-grandchildren of 1916 activists who fled persecution following the civil war.

It is led by the children of those forced into exile by partition, sectarianism, and discrimination.

All carry with them the stories of injustice and the desire to right the wrongs of the past. They are found in the communities across North America, in bars of Boston, the building sites of Toronto, the Union Halls of San Francisco, and in political office in Washington.

The Irish diaspora is a diverse group spanning the political spectrum, united in the cause of Irish Unity. If we achieve unity in Ireland, it will require building the widest consensus for unity at home, abroad, and between nations. Bringing together progressive and conservative forces to work together for Irish Unity. The successes to date have been built on a broad coalition.

In the US Congress, both the House and Senate voted unanimously to protect the Good Friday Agreement and its provisions for national self-determination.

The Friends of Ireland Caucus, bipartisan groups on Capitol Hill chaired by Rep. Richard Neal (Democrat) and Rep. Mike Kelly (Republican), have been instrumental in protecting the Good Friday Agreements in the Brexit process. The message is simple, an agreement made must be an agreement honored.

In the lead up to St. Patrick’s Day, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the James Connolly Labor Coalition, the Irish American Unity Conference, and the Brehon Law Society, joined with Friends of Sinn Féin in placing adverts calling on the Irish Government to plan and prepare for unity and for the British Government to set a date for a referendum.

In Ottowa, the Canadian parties united to call for the protection of the Good Friday Agreement to be considered if a Trade Deal with Britain was to be developed.

The US and Canada have been central in defending the Good Friday Agreement in the Brexit process and unionist threats of violence.

To realize the truly transformative potential of the Agreement will require all who value unity to work together at home and abroad.

The project of nation-building extends beyond the boundaries of the Island. It stretches across the Atlantic.

The challenge that Gerry Adams extended to North America was to be the first generation of the diaspora to visit a new and united Ireland.

It is a challenge that our diaspora is determined to meet.

The full New Ireland/Éire Nua e-zine is available here.

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