Donegal T.D. Pearse Doherty has predicted the current generation of republicans will achieve the Republic of Wolfe Tone and Martin McGuinness within the next twenty years
The Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle member made the remarks in the main oration at the Derry City Easter Sunday commemoration in the City Cemetery.
He said: “This generation of republicans will end the union, will end partition and will build a new and united Ireland.
“A new, modern and united Ireland, must be about more than adding the north to the south.
“It is not a 32 county free state. It is a new republic. The republic of Tone and Connolly, Markievicz and Farrell, Sands and McGuinness.”
The Gweedore-based deputy told participants that he believed Ireland was on the cusp of change and that Derry republicans would be a driving force of transformation.
He said: “Like 1918 and 1968 Ireland is again at a point of great change in 2018. The Orange state is gone. The perpetual unionist majority in the North has ended.
“The forces of conservative Ireland no longer enjoy the unquestioning support of citizens. The old orange and green is now part of a rainbow of colours and identities. A new Ireland is emerging.
“Change brings challenges. It challenges republicans as much as anybody else. Socially and economically our country has completely changed from twenty years ago.
“In another twenty years it will have totally changed again. Change is coming and we as revolutionaries welcome change.
“We must represent the Ireland we have today and the Ireland we want to have. Wishing for the Ireland of the past or pretending we can skip to some sort of perfect Republic is not how we win the support of the Irish people.”
During the course of his address Mr. Doherty paid tribute to the many IRA volunteers from the city who were killed in action.
“Today we remember them and pay tribute to each and every one of them you gave their lives in the pursuit of Irish Freedom for the courage and determination.
“I am mindful that this year also marks the 45th anniversary of Volunteers Joe Walker and the 40th anniversary of volunteers Pat Harkin, Dennis Heaney and Patsy Duffy.
“In Derry this year, I would like to acknowledge that recently, almost 48 years after her husband Óglach Joe Coyle was killed on active service, Joan Coyle passed away. On behalf of republicans everywhere I extend our condolences to her family who are here today,” he said.