Sinn Fein reps push Irish unity

Mary Lou McDonald and Francie Molloy at a public forum in Perth on August 30 organised by the CFMEU. Photo from Cairde Sinn Fein

Two representatives from Irish republican party Sinn Fein toured Australia from August to September 7, speaking to hundreds of people at public meetings about the campaign for Irish reunification.

Sinn Fein vice-president and member of the Dail (Irish parliament) Mary Lou McDonald and Sinn Fein MP for Mid-Ulster in Ireland's north Francie Molloy, spoke in support of the campaign to end partition and unite the six counties still claimed by Britain with the 26 counties that make up the southern state in a democratic republic.

Sinn Fein is pushing for a border poll, such as allowed under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, on Irish re-unification.

The tour was the first by Sinn Fein representatives since the party became the largest political force across all of Ireland after local and European elections in May. Its strong results came on the back of campaigning against the brutal austerity pushed on Irish people by the European Union in the south and Britain in the north.

The tour kicked off in Perth with a forum hosted by the Construction Mining Energy Union WA branch in Trades Hall on August 30, which was attended by members of a range of unions.

McDonald spoke at the March Australia rally in Perth on the same day about the experience of fighting austerity in Ireland and Europe, before an evening public event with about 150 people, which featured a special welcome for representatives of the Palestinian community.

About 70 people packed the Gaelic Club in Sydney on September 3 and there were also meetings in Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The tour was organised by Cairde Sinn Fein Australia.

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