Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams in fresh calls for border poll at annual party conference

12/04/2013 Gerry Adams TD with Pierce Doherty TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD arriving at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus
12/04/2013 Gerry Adams TD with Pierce Doherty TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD arriving at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus
Gerry Adams arriving at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Gerry Adams arriving at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in the TF Royal Hotel and Theatre, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has made a fresh call for a referendum on "Irish unity" during his address at his party's annual conference in Co Mayo.

The party president said it was "time to let the people have their say on the future of Ireland".

He said that 15 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement it was important to have a border poll on "Irish unity".

"The Agreement provides for a border poll on Irish unity. It’s no surprise that the two governments are saying no, but Sinn Féin is saying yes," he said.

The Ard Fheis is being held in Castlebar in Co Mayo.

Among other areas addressed during his speech, Mr Adams said dialogue with unionists and loyalists on issues such as marching and flags was "essential".

"The Orange marching season has begun. This year sees the added vexation about the flying of flags on public buildings," he said.

"Playing party politics with these issues is dangerous and counter-productive.

"There are many genuine loyalists and unionists, including former combatants, working in disadvantaged communities who realise the dangers and risks involved.

"They also know that it is citizens from these disadvantaged communities who will bear the brunt of any violent or disruptive actions.

"These communities have more in common with their republican neighbours than they may realise.

"Dialogue between them and Sinn Féin is essential and there is an imperative on republicans, challenging though it may be, to build alliances on social and economic issues with working class loyalists and unionists."

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