A Border Poll is a Compromise

A Border Poll is a Compromise

There is a lot of ongoing talk within and around the Irish Unity conversation around the need for compromise when it comes to Irish Unity and a Border Poll, with particular reference to Unionism.

These conversations are themselves shrouded in a false claim from certain sections of Nationalism that the Border Poll mechanism enshrined within the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a victory. These claims can not be further from the truth. Republicans fought and died to reaffirm the right to the Irish Republic proclaimed on the steps of the GPO in 1916 and democratically ratified in 1918, they did not fight and die for a Border Poll that was on the table in 1973!

One of the most important Republican principles is that the partition of Ireland was undemocratic and illegal, and our claim to the Republic lies democratically within the elected First Dáil Éireann.

In layman’s terms; the people of Ireland already voted for the Irish Republic in 1918 and our democratic will was stolen from us via a threat of violence from the British State.

To Republicans, the Border Poll is a bitter pill to swallow, it itself is a huge climb down from the steadfast Republican position, it is much more than a compromise, for many it is an ideological U-turn.

For me, and those Republican Socialists within Yes For Unity, we cannot ignore the fact that huge change is on the horizon and a border poll is coming. While, it is easy to bury our heads in the sand and reminisce about the First Dáil Éireann, ignoring the constitutional reality around us, it would be a fatal flaw and would condemn our ideology to the history books by not becoming actively involved in the biggest constitutional tsunami since 1918.

A new generation of young Republicans, young nationalists and young socialists want to express their political aspiration for a United Ireland and who are we to deny them? We as Republicans need to harness this political energy to help shape and build a 32 County Irish Socialist Republic based on the socio-economic needs of the people.

In doing so though, we need to be open and transparent and not hide behind false pretexts or empty political slogans.

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