I cannot say that I’m one bit surprised by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin dismissing the growing call for a border poll which is an intrinsic part as laid out in the good Friday agreement.
The Tory-led British government and unionist allies are openly critical of any moves that are seen to be in agreement with the Sinn Féin project of a united Ireland, even though it was agreed and signed off in a legally binding document to hold a border poll when circumstances had changed to such an extent that a border poll was inevitable.
Never in a million years would war of independence veterans such as Dan Breen, who became a Fianna Fáil politician. believe that the party he joined would in years to come, have a leader who openly objected to the possibility of uniting the country, and as such, taking sides with those who are trying to rewrite elements of an internationally signed peace agreement.
His rhetoric and lack of foresight is disturbing, and the excuse that the time is not right, is a puny and selfish exercise in self-publicity that Mr Martin craves.
If that negative line of thinking were followed, the time would never be right as there would always be an excuse of one sort or another not to follow up on a legitimately held aspiration that transcends imposed borders and mindsets.
The facts are that the prospect of a united Ireland is being discussed among moderate unionists, and the concept is being dissected in pubs and clubs fearing that they may be treated as nationalist/republicans were treated before the peace process in the partitioned statelet universally accepted as six northern counties of Ireland. If there is a coerced fear propagated by certain media outlets and semi political leaders like Mr Martin, it tends to create obstacles where non exist.
Now is the time to speak about reunification in a positive manner, and draw up plans from as wide a section of the public as possible, so that in the event, you’re not left rudderless without an oar akin to Mr Martin who is bereft of any molecules of progressive thinking.
Even de Valera must be turning in shame at the thought of what his former republican party has degenerated into.
It is inconceivable that the likes of Éamon Ó Cuív, Dev’s nephew, has been so easily subsumed into Mr Martin’s republican-less version of a once proud republican party that represented the working-class people of Ireland. Look what they have morphed into, a shameless skeleton of what they once stood for? Once Sinn Féin became an electoral threat to the status quo that existed on the island since the foundation of the State, Fianna Fáil, especially under the leadership of Micheál Martin became more vitriolic in his attacks than the most ardent unionist.
He continually castigates Sinn Féin for not bowing and swearing allegiance to the British monarch and taking their seats in Westminster as the SDLP do? If he is that enthralled by bowing and kissing the arse of an unelected representative of a prehistorical system of government, why doesn’t he or any of his knee-bending colleagues put their names on a ballot paper next time around?
Perhaps his fairytale fantasy will become a reality, because republicans throughout the six counties would rejoice at the thought of voting for him in their thousands to give him the chance to go
over to Westminster and sully the name of his party once and for all by swearing allegiance to a monarch. Micheál has made his bed for 2020 and it looks as if there is going to be no change in his relentless campaign to vanquish the republican ideal of a united Ireland from the Fianna Fáil mindset Brexit or no Brexit.
James Woods, Dún na nGall