Looking Forward to 2022
Each week Ciarán Quinn sends a Letter from Ireland as part of the Friends of Sinn Féin Newsletter.
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Looking Forward to 2022
I hope you had the opportunity over Christmas to spend time with family and friends. Covid and changed regulations have been at the fore of everyone's minds and actions across Ireland. While Covid shaped the past year, we look to the future with hope and optimism. Much has changed politically in Ireland. The Irish Unity debate is now central to politics, despite an Irish Government that refuses to plan or advocate for Unity. Brexit continues to cause uncertainty for business, and the hope of many is to get on with implementing the deal as agreed. For unionism, their loss of a majority position was first a tragedy that now plays out as a farce with contested leaderships and threats to collapse the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement.
The past continues to shape the present. This year marked the 40th Anniversary of the Long Kesh Hungerstrike of 1981. It was remembered across Ireland and the USA. The sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers demonstrated the depth of resistance of Irish Republicans and led to the growth of Sinn Féin, the peace process, and the Good Friday Agreement. We now have a peaceful and democratic pathway to unity. An opportunity denied Bobby Sands and his comrades. Irish Republicans reflect, learn, and take inspiration from the past; the British Government wants a cover-up of their actions. Boris Johnson has not dropped his plans to end all judicial investigations into the past, block victims from accessing the court, and impose an unconditional amnesty, a proposal that undermines the Good Friday Agreement and sets back reconciliation. Throughout all of this Sinn Féin continues to rise in the polls. If these polls can be converted to votes, Sinn Féin will lead the governments in Dublin and Belfast.
The challenges and opportunities in the coming year will be to:
Secure an Irish Government which will advocate and plan for Irish Unity.
Build support for a unity referendum as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.
Protect and implement all existing agreements
Consolidate support for Sinn Féin to lead the governments in Belfast and Dublin.
In all of this, the US will be central. Thank you for your continued support for Friends of Sinn Féin. We are well placed to move ahead. Meanwhile, enjoy the New Year's break. Stay safe and here's to 2022. Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh.
Is mise Ciarán
Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America