Aontú leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has echoed claims by the former North of Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward that the criteria for a United Ireland Poll are being met currently. Tóibín stated today;
“There is no longer a political Unionist majority. There is no longer a Unionist majority in the Assembly. The is no longer a Unionist majority in the Westminster elections. Even polls on the constitutional questions show that less than 50% of the population support the Union with Britain”.
“The Census results have shown that there are now more Catholics than Protestants, and in terms of identity there has been a massive fall in the number of those identifying as British only and a majority of people either identify as Irish or Northern Irish. The number of people holding an Irish passport has also rocketed up”.
“All of the trends are showing that even middle ground Nationalists and some from the Unionist community are now actively supporting Irish Unity. Yet Unionist leaders, the British Government and some within the Irish government are trying to push back the tide like King Canute”.
“The truth is the only way that a majority for Unity can be proved is with a referendum. Resistance to allowing people a democratic say over the future of the north is deeply problematic and wrong. The northern state was founded against the democratic will of the people of Ireland in 1918 and now again there are those seeking to subvert the democratic process. We in Aontú believe the Assembly should make the decision on when the Referendum is held. The consent of the people of the north is supposed to be at the heart of this decision yet the power is in the hands of a Tory Minister that does not get one vote in the North of Ireland ”.
“For the Union between the north of Ireland and Britain to last, Unionists leaders have to show that that the Union works for Nationalists. Brexit, the chaotic British political system and the refusal of the Democratic Unionists to even allow the democratic intuitions in the North work, show without a shadow of a doubt that the Union is not working for Nationalists”.
“We are at the edge of a new chapter for Ireland. One that allows all the people of Ireland north and south self-determine our own future without the negative actions of Tory Party Ministers in London who know nothing about Ireland and care even less. Self-determination in the south has served us well. In the north the lack of it has cost society dearly”.
“I agree with the former Secretary of State for the North of Ireland that the criteria have now been met for a referendum. We need now to start to plan for a referendum in the next 3 to 5 years. We need a New Ireland Forum to bring together all of civic and political society north and south to start to work on that plan. We need to start the development of all Ireland services. We need to plan together, fund together and deliver services together to make services more efficient and better for citizens. We need to do this now or otherwise events will pass us by and we will in the throes of change without the planning done”.