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Friendships like these can Unite Ireland.

In this week's letter from Ireland, Ciarán Quinn reflects on the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and the value of friendships. Neve miss a letter from Ireland. Sign up for our

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a Chairde, There is something special about the connections between old friends. Picking up conversations with friends that you have not seen for a couple of years right where you left off is one of the greatest joys in life. So it was at last week's Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (Annual Conference). It was the first time many of us had met up in two years. After updates on births, deaths, and marriages, it was all talk of the future, possibilities, and challenges. It was a confident, optimistic, and thankful gathering, full of young people ready to make their mark. Sinn Fein President Mary Lou received a standing ovation at the start and end of her speech, which included a commitment to build the conversation about Irish Unity nationally and internationally. Sinn Féin is leading in the polls, we have the policies and people to lead governments north and south, and Irish unity is within grasping distance. But we face many challenges, including a British government riding roughshod over Brexit and continuing to cover up their actions during the conflict. There is work to be done to secure and win a unity referendum. The next election is 2022 in the North and it could be three years until a general election in the South. Polls are encouraging, though they’re just snapshots in time. The common phrase over the weekend, and the truth in life, “Never take anything for granted.” I also got to catch up with, AOH President Danny O’Connell. It was the first time we’d met in person since he took up the reins of the AOH. The view from across the Atlantic is measured in generations, the descendants of those who fled famine now are witness to a changed and changing Ireland. The craic was great with him, Pat and Tom, who are friends since college. The conversation eventually turned to Irish politics, unity, and the outrageous positions of the British government. Friendships like these can withstand time and distance. Friendships like these will unite Ireland. Have a great weekend! Is mise Ciarán

Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America

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