Democracy The Key To Moving Forward In Ireland

Patrick Donohoe from the 1916 Societies shares his views on democracy. Patrick Donahoe is a founding member of the Padraig Pearse Society Clondalkin/Tallaght and former Organiser with the 1916 Societies.

Patrick Donohoe

I am delighted to see the One Ireland One Vote campaign for an all-Ireland referendum on Irish Unity being launched by the 1916 Societies. Republicans have continually been called ‘undemocratic’ but this campaign shines a light on the undemocratic nature of partition in my opinion. It was imposed on the people without their consent and since then we’ve had sham options put to the people of partition and yet more partition. The option of Unity is never on the table. Why? Because they know the answer they would get. A December 2013 Irish Times poll found 64 percent on this island would vote for Unity even if it meant higher taxes. As in 1918, after the general election of that year, the Irish people want their country unified.

What is now proposed, disbarring the sectarian headcount used to scar the country, is the Irish people decide as one their future. We call for this confident our people – Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter – will work together for the betterment of all.

Recently it has been confirmed the British state was complict in mass murder and nobody needs to regurgitate what Britain over the years inflicted on this country. It is no mistake we have such an abnormal society in parts of the country they control – peace walls dividing people like animals etc – nothing has ever came about by accident. When Catholic and Presbyterian were uniting, showing regardless of religious denomination we were a homogeneous people, they created the Orange Order to divide them. Their negative influence on Irish affairs is there for all to see.

Some of the republican critics of this proposal have been polemic in their criticism at times but One Ireland One Vote is a means to restore the right of the Irish people to determine their own destiny, rather than something in conflict with the 1919 Republic. It contests the British presence in Ireland, its partitioning of the country and its ongoing physical occupation. We realise our right to national self-determination is inalienable but we have to recognise the modern reality of partition. We can go around an ideological roundabout forever but will always come back to the same point – right where we started. We can take things forward now, engaging the people and using the very entity the British denied us for so long to defeat them: democracy.

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