The same requires that the Irish people, freely and without impediment, determine together the ‘New Ireland’ – as is their democratic entitlement. For the 1916 Societies, an All-Ireland Referendum is best placed to speed that process. Likewise, it can best resolve the contradictions thrown up by the result in Britain and its impact here in Ireland, which Britain continues to occupy.
We note immediate moves – already rejected by Britain – on the part of the leadership of New Sinn Fein towards a so-called ‘border poll’. Such a poll is in reality a device to withhold the national rights of the Irish people and to deny Irish sovereignty. Sinn Fein know only too well that an Independent Republic can never be achieved through such a poll, that even were it to be held and won it sets in train ‘Good Friday Mk.II’ and not the Irish Republic.
Furthermore, attempts to equate and link a border poll to the notion of a national referendum are currently underfoot. Despite repeated requests of Sinn Fein to detail what they propose by a ‘Referendum on Irish Unity’, which they again made mention of today, they have offered nothing to the people of Ireland in response.
We submit that they seek to muddy the demand for an All-Ireland Referendum and deliberately sow confusion at this critical time – all to avoid it being exposed that the British Triple Lock they agreed to be bound by represents a permanent barrier to Irish national sovereignty.
No matter. The argument those intent on change need now to bring forward is not that an undemocratic border poll, which denies the rights of our people, should determine the constitutional future of Ireland – whether dressed in the language of a referendum or otherwise. Our argument instead must be that Britain should leave Ireland and allow our people to freely exercise their right to independence.
For the 1916 Societies, the changed circumstance that is ‘Brexit’ reinforces our longstanding belief that the time is now right for Irish self-determination. We assert that an All-Ireland Referendum on Irish Unity should be brought forward with immediate effect, that an Independent and 32-County Republic should proceed forthwith from the same.
We call on all republicans, with other progressive forces in Ireland, to coalesce behind that position. From there, a ‘New Ireland’ can be agreed by our people. It should be a given that Britain has no role in such a process, which is a matter for the Irish people alone. The time for that process is now and the work to realise its object should begin at once.