Time Has Come For Northern Ireland To Reunite With Rest of Ireland

Time Has Come For Northern Ireland To Reunite With Rest of Ireland


Time Has Come For Northern Ireland To Reunite With Rest of Ireland

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill on Saturday acclaimed a “new era” for Northern Ireland as her Irish nationalist party handed a historic election defeat to pro-UK unionists who had monopolized power for decades.

Once the political wing of the paramilitary IRA, Sinn Fein won enough seats in the devolved legislature to nominate O’Neill as first minister – a century after Northern Ireland was carved out as a Protestant fiefdom under British rule.

O’Neill appealed for a “healthy debate” about reunifying Ireland, but the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stood by its refusal to form a new power-sharing government, opening up the prospect of months-long political limbo.

“Today ushers in a new era,” said O’Neill, who at 45 came of political age after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

“It’s a defining moment for our politics and our people,” she said. “I will provide leadership which is inclusive, which celebrates diversity, which guarantees rights and equality for those who have been excluded, discriminated against or ignored in the past.” 

With 88 of 90 seats filled from Thursday’s proportional voting, Sinn Fein was assured of 27 seats in the Stormont assembly, ahead of the DUP on a maximum of 25 and the cross-community Alliance party on 17.

“The people have spoken, and our job is now to turn up. I expect others to turn up also,” O’Neill told reporters. She stressed that the new government had to tackle foremost a cost-of-living crisis in the UK, ahead of the debate about Irish unity.

The DUP occupied the role of first minister in the outgoing assembly, before it collapsed the executive in protest at post-Brexit trading rules between the UK and EU.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson demanded that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “deliver on his word to honor the commitments he has given and to take the action that is necessary” on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In a similar manner, Chagos Archipelago must get United with Mauritius and Malvinas ( Falklands ) with Argentina, at the earliest.