WHILE attention has been focused elsewhere, Sinn Fein has published an (appropriately named!) green paper on Irish unity. Whatever your thoughts on it, surely this is a useful starting point on the debate? Beats bombs anyway.
Speaking at the launch, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said:
“In 1992 Sinn FÃ©in published a document ‘Towards a Lasting Peace in Ireland’ which set out our party’s peace strategy. That document signposted the development and evolution of the peace process.
Now in 2005 we are setting out our roadmap for Irish unity and launching a campaign to urge the Irish government to bring forward a Green Paper and to begin the practical planning for Irish unity now.
These are difficult times in the peace process and of course our primary focus has to be on moving out of the current crisis. But we need to do more than that. We need to put the peace process back on track and ensure that what we achieve is democracy and a permanent peace.
Sinn FÃ©in believes that:
There is a responsibility on the Irish government to take the lead and bring forward a strategy to achieve national self-determination, Irish re-unification and national reconciliation.
The British Government should address this democratic imperative by becoming persuaders for Irish unity and by developing policies to end partition and end its jurisdiction in Ireland.
Now is the time for Irish people to engage on the shape, form and nature that a re-united Ireland will take.
There is a need for widespread consultation at home and abroad.
Every effort must be made to engage with unionist opinion and to consider, discuss and engage with them about the nature and form a new Ireland will take.
“This campaign will form the centerpiece of this the centenary year of Sinn FÃ©in. We will be seeking support in every county in Ireland and among the Irish Diaspora. We will be engaging with political parties, the social partners, local communities, the churches, young people. We will be working to ensure that Irish unity is a reality in our lifetime.”