Sinn Fein Council group leader, Sandra Duffy, has told those gathered during Volunteers’ Sunday that the orange state is gone and that now is the time to shape a new Ireland of equals and prepare for a reunification poll.
Colr. Duffy was speaking to hundreds of people as she delivered the main oration in the City Cemetery on Sunday.
Relatives and activists laid floral tributes in honour of the Volunteers of the Derry Brigade during the service.
Colr. Duffy made special mention of Volunteers Dennis Heaney, Pat Harkin and Patsy Duffy on the 40th anniversary of the year they died. “We are ever mindful of the dedication of many people over many decades to ensure that we are now in this advanced position in our history,” she said.
Colr. Duffy said that Sinn Fein was a”party in transition,” with Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill at the helm. “This is the time for us to shape our vision of the New Ireland, where all are cherished equally.”
She added: “The orange state and the Unionist majority are gone. In the 26 Counties the old order, the old ways are gone. People are demanding change. Building on the foundations laid down by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, we go forward ready to face whatever challenges that lie before us.
“The selfish interest of the Tories and the narrow interest of the DUP has ensured that the outcome of Brexit is nothing short of disaster on every level for the people of Ireland.
“We must demonstrate that the argument, the need for a unified Ireland is the best solution and offers the greatest hope of prosperity for all our citizens.
“This is the time for this New Ireland to emerge. The focus of our work, of our engagement, of our example is to win that debate and convince more people that the way forward is a New Ireland.
It is now our responsibility to not only to secure a poll for Irish unity but to win it when it comes.”