Matt Carthy’s letter, ‘Partition still biggest impediment to a strong Irish economy’ (Irish News 14th August), attempts to align Sinn Fein’s position on Irish Unity with the right of the Irish people to self-determination. Suggestive talk of a referendum, as though it related to an all-Ireland vote, serves to deflect from reality, to disguise how the Unionist Veto, long rejected by Irish republicans, now lies at the core of his party’s strategic thinking.
Despite efforts to intimate otherwise, Sinn Fein’s position is clear: Irish Unity must wait on a ‘vote in the North’. No matter the political will in the rest of Ireland, nothing can happen without the consent of a majority there – as made clear by successive British Secretaries of State, both prior to the Multi-Party Talks and since. Matt and his leadership have seconded the above and thus exclude a referendum as that he suggests.
What we’re really seeing here is mere posturing and attempts to deceive the Irish people, to have them believe Sinn Fein seek a referendum on Unity, in line with the right to self-determination, when what they’ve already signed up to is a Border Poll, which takes no account of political will in Ireland, in which a national minority holds power of veto over the wishes of the country entire, in which the British government remains the ultimate arbiter of the political process, its sovereign claim to a part of our country intact.
In truth, Matt and his party uphold the same partitionist arrangements railed against throughout, having agreed terms which underscore their legitimacy and thwart the prospect of a United Ireland. No amount of token language can change that. The alternative to such rhetoric is a genuine all-Ireland process, in line with our national rights, which puts Unity on the table where it belongs. Such a campaign, the ‘One Ireland One Vote’ initiative of the 1916 Societies, already exists but Sinn Fein refuse to support it. Indeed they have attacked it. Regardless, anyone in favour of such, Matt Carthy included, can sign our petition at www.1916societies.com.