Sloganising ‘will not achieve united Ireland'
Sloganising about Irish unity will not achieve an agreed, united Ireland, SDLP minister Mr Seán Farren claimed today.
In a speech to his constituency council in Ballymena, the North Antrim MLA said there was a need for a united Ireland and an agreed Ireland and that a united Ireland would not come without it.
Sinn Féin president Mr Gerry Adams in Dublin urged the Government to produce its own formal set of proposals in the Dáil.
Cavan-Monaghan TD Mr Caoimhghin O Caolain told unionists they should realise their future was brighter in a united Ireland. Mid-Ulster MP Mr Martin McGuinness in Drumboe, Co Donegal, claimed the countdown to Irish unity had begun.
Responding to these speeches, Mr Farren argued: "Sloganising about Irish unity will not achieve agreement - much less will it achieve unity.
"Worse, violence in the name of Irish unity, by bringing so much pain and suffering, has deepened divisions between the people of Ireland and has made the task of achieving unity much more difficult," he said.
"Now without new political institutions the only way forward is to build on the Good Friday Agreement and create greater trust and confidence between our communities.
"Only by doing so can the conditions for an agreed and ultimately united Ireland be created. That is the real challenge to all those who believe in a meaningful and lasting unity in Ireland".