The debate on Irish reunification should not be based on language of “threat or danger” according to Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald.
She said that the “massive” opportunity must be “grasped” by the Irish government as it poses the chance to build an Irish national health service.
Speaking on This Week on RTE Radio One, Ms McDonald said that the Irish government “needs to get to work” on creating a shared island unit.
“Grasping the opportunity I think, it’s important.
“This debate around reunification shouldn’t be posited on the language of threat or danger this is a massive opportunity.
“Speaking to unionists, nationalists, republicans, to ordinary people if you like on the ground, the thing that is raised most often with me is the future of the health service.”
“I think the opportunity to build an Irish national health service island-wide is absolutely within our grasp and all the more necessary when we surveyed the Covid scene of the here and now,” she added.
She said that it is not only Sinn Fein members who are looking for a Citizens Assembly on Irish unity.
“I think the government needs to get to work, there’s people in Sinn Fein, beyond Sinn Fein, arguing correctly for a citizens assembly or a forum, I don’t mind what it’s called, but it needs to move beyond the very valuable dialogues of the shared island unit into real concrete planning,” she said.
When asked about a Sinn Fein member voicing her concerns when a separate, more senior member went to her house and confronted her over recently sent tweets, Ms McDonald said that she does not lead a “party of sheep”.
“I do not lead a party of sheep. I lead a party of highly motivated articulate individuals.
“People are entitled to have their view and their analysis of the past,” she added.