IRSP organising 'simulated border poll' in North West

IRSP is planning a 'simulated border poll.'
IRSP is planning a 'simulated border poll.'

The Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) is organising what it has described as a "simulated border poll" in the Strabane-Lifford area.

Michael McLaughlin of the IRSP's 'YES for Unity' campaign confirmed the party will be holding a public talk and debate around the theme, 'Building for a Socialist Ireland', in the Civic Room, Strabane Library, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 15.

He said: "The idea behind the public talk and debate, followed by a 'simulated border poll', is to collect data identifying the core issues to develop a strategy to win a future referendum. We need to evolve an island wide network of a well drilled army of activists with the capacity to engage on the doorsteps and win the debate”.

The IRSP has recently been advocating for a border poll despite the fact that it is provided for under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and, as such, would be conducted through "partitionist" structures.

Its policy is outlined in its recent ‘Britain out of Ireland, Ireland out of the EU’ document.

Mr. McLaughlin said: “YES For Unity would be delighted to host republicans and socialists from all over Ireland during the 'simulated border poll' in Strabane-Lifford. It’s important that those who are planning to fight the border poll on the streets of the entire island come and engage on the door steps, we believe this is a good opportunity to do this.

“As we move closer to an era of referendum it is becoming clearer that the mechanism for a border poll, outlined in the Good Friday Agreement, may be the template under which we have to fight.

"This is not our preferred option and indeed we are calling the GFA's bluff. Demographics show that unionism is moving into a time of permanent minority in occupied Ireland. This in itself is enough to trigger a poll.

“YES For Unity will not sit idly by and wait for a British minister to allow us our right to self-determination. We are committed to building a grass roots movement on the streets that has the power to drive the agenda for ending partition, not in the elected chambers or shadowy back room deals, but transparently and openly, a campaign that transcends party political affiliation and belongs to the people.

"The GFA mechanism border poll will include a vote on both sides of the British Border in Ireland. The referendum battle will take place on every doorstep in the 32 Counties of Ireland. We must prepare."