'Huge potential' in reunification but no need to change flag says Mary-Lou McDonald

'Huge potential' in reunification but no need to change flag says Mary-Lou McDonald
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald making her key note address at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 2019 in the Millennium Forum Theatre and Conference Centre, Derry. Photo: SamBoal/Rollingnews.ie

Retaining the tricolour is a red-line issue for a united Ireland, Mary-Lou McDonald has claimed.

The Sinn Féin president believes there would be a "huge economic dividend and potential" in reunification and it would provide a chance to properly deal with healthcare across the island.

However, she ruled out altering the Irish flag to perhaps include a red hand to reflect the unionist tradition.

"The tricolour is our flag, I think it's inclusive it represents the green and the orange, Amhrán na bhFiann is our national anthem," she told Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show.

I am an Irish republican, I am a Fenian I come from that stock, so that's my flag.

She described Brexit a "constitutional earthquake" which will change everything on both sides of the border.

Separately, Ms McDonald refused to condemn the attempted murder of Arlene Foster's father during the Troubles.

The current leader of the DUP was present when her father, John Kelly, was shot in 1979.

While Ms McDonald said it was "wrong" that Ms Foster had witnessed the attack, she said she would not be going down the "rabbit hole" of condemnation.

Ms McDonald said: "The politics of condemnation is a rabbit hole that I will not go down because it becomes a tit-for-tat, you-said-I-said, I think that serves nobody's interest

Then it becomes a tennis match between very, very hurt and very, very damaged people and communities and I am not playing that game, I think it's dishonourable.

Asked how often she speaks with Ms Foster given the fact that the Assembly has not been up and running for almost three years, she said: "We have contact that is sometimes by telephone, more often it's face to face," said Ms McDonald.

Meanwhile Sinn Féin has revealed that Michelle O'Neill held on to her post as the party's vice president with two-thirds of the vote last Saturday.

More on this topic

Sinn Féin bill proposes mandatory dog litter bags for ownersSinn Féin bill proposes mandatory dog litter bags for owners

Michelle O’Neill's winning margin in Sinn Féin vice presidency race revealedMichelle O’Neill's winning margin in Sinn Féin vice presidency race revealed

Mary Lou McDonald declines to condemn IRA murder bid on DUP leader’s fatherMary Lou McDonald declines to condemn IRA murder bid on DUP leader’s father

McDonald rejects Sinn Féin ‘secrecy’ claims over vice presidency voteMcDonald rejects Sinn Féin ‘secrecy’ claims over vice presidency vote


More in this Section

'He put his hands around my neck and started to choke me' - Cork man convicted of assaulting his sister'He put his hands around my neck and started to choke me' - Cork man convicted of assaulting his sister

Jack Butler Yeats painting sells at auction for three-times its estimateJack Butler Yeats painting sells at auction for three-times its estimate

Court quashes conviction of one of three men for burglary which saw Limerick family assaulted and threatenedCourt quashes conviction of one of three men for burglary which saw Limerick family assaulted and threatened

Taoiseach accuses Fianna Fáil of 'anti-rural agenda' over smoky coal banTaoiseach accuses Fianna Fáil of 'anti-rural agenda' over smoky coal ban


Lifestyle

Ray Liotta never planned to be an actor. He only signed up for drama classes in college in a bid to dodge the more academic subjects, and didn’t make his first film until he was 30.Both sides now: Ray Liotta on his 40 year career

I am Jesus Christ! No, don’t worry, this writer’s ego isn’t quite that big. We won’t be turning water into wine. Rather, ‘I Am Jesus Christ’ is the name of a new game just announced on Steam.GameTech: The new video game 'I am Jesus Christ'

Johnny ‘Fang’ Murphy, frontman with Cork group The Stargazers, tells Ellie O’Byrne about the cultural milestones on his musical journey.Getting into the swing of things: Johnny 'Fang' Murphy on his musical journey

Clean skincare is cleaning up, but does it even mean anything in particular?The Skin Nerd: When clean does not always mean better

More From The Irish Examiner