Sean Bresnahan asks for clarity from Sinn Fein on its calls for more cooperation from republican activists in pursuit of "uniting Ireland."
But for Republicans to determine whether his approach should be considered there must first be solid details, and admission, as to the parameters of what actually constitutes a United Ireland.
At the baseline, Irish Republicanism seeks the unity of Ireland as a 32-county republic. While such a republic will always be a United Ireland it need not be so the other way around — for a United Ireland, of itself, is a more elastic concept than the more specific construct that would be a 32-county republic.
While a United Ireland could take the form of such a republic it could also be otherwise construed. Without the required specifics, here, concepts as Sinn Féin’s ‘new agreed Ireland’, while on the surface non-contentious and agreeable to all, could actually prove problematic.
Where this to manifest in a political configuration where a forward role for Britain is allowed for, into and under a supposed United Ireland, then this presents obvious issues for Republicans — likewise the possibility that Ireland could be united but under the British Commonwealth.
Republicans, then, require greater detail as to what is actually being set towards, politically, when others speak of political cooperation.
Absent this, particularly given the difficulties of the past — of the use of language to move people in one direction in the belief it was towards another — Republicans will naturally be wary of any initiative lacking such detail from the outset.
It is only in a context where all relevant specifics are on the table — for all to see — that Republicans can make an informed decision as to whether this appeal is to be engaged with.
While we are not averse to cooperating with others and recognise ultimately a need for same, if the Irish Republic is to be advanced, a fundamental concern remains: to where is the initiative spoken of intended in terms of the outcome it sets toward? Is it aimed towards the Irish Republic or instead to a revisionist compromise?
Without this information we would be operating in ignorance, negligent indeed to our duty.
Republicans seek, thus, a public correspondence to resolve this difficulty, which would serve the Republican interest all round. All concerned can through such be informed as to the nature of any venture to be entered into, being likewise able to determine, as they need to, if and whether it serves their requirements.
Sean Bresnahan is an independent Republican from Co. Tyrone who blogs @ Claidheamh Soluis. Follow Sean Bresnahan on Twitter @bres79