Border poll inevitable - Adams
A poll on the future of the border in Ireland is inevitable, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said.
Mr Adams was responding to comments by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson who earlier this week said he had no intention of calling a poll at this time and had not been asked to do so.
The Belfast Agreement provides for a border poll when there is sufficient demand and a spokesperson for Mr Paterson said his position was in keeping with the peace deal.
Mr Adams hit out at Mr Paterson’s handling of a series of sensitive issues and criticised his time in office.
“A border poll is inevitable. Mr Patterson knows this. It is only a matter of timing,” said the Sinn Fein leader.By definition that will come when the people of our island have formed a cordial union of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter,” Mr Adams said.
“When a border poll is held Owen Patterson will have no vote on that issue. That is as it should be, entirely a matter for the people of Ireland.”
The Louth TD, who was speaking ahead of a party meeting in Gulladuff in Co Derry, added: “The political landscape in the North has been transformed in recent years and there is growing support for a united Ireland.
“A border poll is inevitable. Mr Patterson knows this. It is only a matter of timing. The united Ireland that Sinn Fein seeks is inclusive. All elements of society on the island of Ireland must be comfortable and secure in the system of governance that is agreed.
“It is essential that everyone has the fullest expression of their identity without intruding on the rights and entitlements of others. Diversity, equality and tolerance is the key to this.”