A body who are seeking an island wide referendum on Irish reunification say they have gathered around 3,000 signatures in Derry.
The One Ireland One Vote campaign being conducted under the auspices of the 1916 Societies plan to gather signatures across Ireland in an attempt to pressurise both the Dail and Westminister to conduct a poll on a united Ireland.
Spokesman for the local branch, Frank Quigley told the ‘Journal’ that to date the organisation has been knocking on doors in the Bogside, Brandywell and Creggan.
“I believe there is an appetite on the ground for this and we plan to carry on with it. If enough signatures are gathered across the country the Dail and Westminister will eventually be unable to ignore it and will have to address it. “Nationalist parties have bought into the notion of a border poll which is not going to go anywhere. We will be accused of not having a mandate, but what we are doing is building one outside of electroal politics and we believe we will achieve these targets,” he said.
Mr Quigley also contended that the abandoning of Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution, which laid territorial claim to Northern Ireland, has also lead to the jettisoning of the issue of Irish unification from the political agenda.
“There is no real power at Stormont. Being elected there is not going to change this position. Similarly, the southern parties cannot ignore it if we gather enough momentum behind it. If it is ignored after all that then it may help awaken the Irish people to the fact that it is being ignored.It would appears that within politics there is no one left who wants to talk about a united Ireland anymore. We are an entirely separatist movement and we are not about electoral politics.”
The 1916 Societies were formed in 2009 in East Tyrone. They contend that current British policy gives Nationalists the trappings of power at Stormont while upholding a permanent ‘Unionist Veto’ over anything resembling real change, much less movement to a United Ireland.
The organisation lists their aims and objectives as the following.
The 1916 Societies are an Irish Separatist Movement and believe that the Irish Republic should be a Sovereign Independent State.
The 1916 Societies are committed to fostering and promoting Irish unity as set out in the 1916 Proclamation.
The 1916 Societies believe in the right of the Irish people to national self-determination.
The 1916 Societies believe the proposed Referendums under the 1998 Act do not constitute National Self-Determination, and would in effect be merely an internal six County border poll. Schedule 1 of the 1998 Act gives the British Secretary of State a supreme veto over the Self-Determination of the Irish people and guarantees Unionists gerrymandering of the island of Ireland. Under this act, the British Government through the Secretary of State, claims that they and they alone may or may not call a Referendum, and claims the right to decide who and who will not have the right to vote, decide on the wording of the Referendum and will only call one when they are satisfied as to its outcome.
The 1916 Societies believe it is for the citizens of Ireland who have the absolute and sovereign right to decide the future of this island. It is for them and they alone, free from external impediment, to choose their own destiny.
The 1916 Societies are committed to organising a campaign for Irish Unity.
The 1916 societies believe that a party political strategy will not unite Ireland. They have no intention of engaging in an electoral strategy to partitions institutions.
The 1916 societies are committed to putting the issues of the partition of Ireland and Irish unity at the top of the political agenda.
The 1916 societies are committed to honouring Ireland’s patriot dead.
The 1916 societies will work with other organisations and individuals, at home and abroad, to promote Irish unity.
The 1916 societies’ are committed at a local level to the following
To remember the patriot dead of Ireland.
• This is to involve commemorations, lectures, debates, murals, festivals and other activities.
• To foster and promote a united Ireland as set out in the 1916 proclamation.
• To encourage, facilitate and organise debate on republicanism past, present and future.
• To specifically encourage education among the people about the republican history of Ireland with a particular focus on young people.
• To work with other organisation in relation to the promotion of Irish sport, language and culture.
• To outreach to other groups and individuals where their support is likely to be in accordance with the stated objectives
The 1916 societies are founded on the principles of the 1916 proclamation and is dedicated to their promotion. It is an independent organisation which gives no allegiance or favour to any political organisation. Individual members my favour or indeed be involved with political organisations but the 1916 societies as a collective body will remain independent.
Membership of the 1916societies shall be open to any Irish republican regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation or ability, except those who endorse British rule and accept the crown forces as a legitimate force in Ireland.