‘Sinn Féin and the past’


A chara, – Your editorial “Sinn Féin and the past – competing memories” (October 25th) was ill conceived and ill informed. There are no planned official events to commemorate the foundation of the northern state. Unionists will of course mark this centenary; nobody is contesting their right to do so.

Republicans and nationalist – of all hues and persuasions – will not. Socially progressive people will not. A new generation hungry for change, equality and prosperity will not.

The partition of Ireland was a disastrous rupture in the life and politics of our island. Partition gave us two reactionary states, discrimination, inequality and conflict.

I deeply respect our unionist people and their absolute entitlement to remember and commemorate their past. I deeply abhor inequality and the denial of rights. The position of Sinn Féin on these matters is at complete variance with the DUP – a party wedded to discrimination, the denial of rights and on a reckless pro-Brexit mission.

The British border in Ireland is contested. The Belfast Agreement gives us the peaceful and democratic method for reunification. That is the path we are on and there will be no departure from that on my watch.

It was historic and hugely significant for the British queen to pay her respects at the Garden of Remembrance to the Irish rebels just as it was for the President to remember the British dead.

It is ironic that as Brexit beckons with all of the turmoil that represents, The Irish Times now seeks not alone to legitimise partition but to insist that the rest of us join in the chorus. This will not happen. – Is mise,



Uachtarán Shinn Féin,

Parnell Square, Dublin 1.