McDonald: there is no contradiction in seeking the establishment of a functioning Assembly and an Executive, and calling for a unity referendum

Sinn Fein President, Mary Lou McDonald spoke at the Brexit conference organised at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast yesterday;

It is our job as leaders – each and every one of us – to now manage the evolving process of change with care, patience and generosity.

To those that say, ‘now is not the time for unity’, I say otherwise.

History is unfolding. The next chapter is being written.

Now is the time.

The biggest mistake – and most reckless course of action – is for leaders to set their face against the inevitable and to try to deny the people their democratic right to define their future.

It is irresponsible and arrogant for a Dublin government to shout down any prospect of a unity referendum.

The responsible thing to do is to play a part in shaping change and engage in the debate that is underway.

I want to, again, challenge the government in Dublin to convene a forum to begin the planning for Irish unity.

And for the avoidance of any doubt, let me say there is no contradiction in seeking the establishment of a functioning Assembly and an Executive, and calling for a unity referendum.

Both are grounded in the Good Friday Agreement.

It is not a case of either/or.