Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said that Micheál Martin 'needs to get serious about a United Ireland' following the Fianna Fáil leader’s refusal to support the establishment of an Oireachtas Committee on Irish Unity.

Mr Adams said: “I recently wrote to all party leaders seeking their support for the establishment of a Oireachtas Committee on Irish Unity that would bring forward proposals for what a United Ireland might look like, how we get there and how the Irish State needs to plan for reunification across all areas of the economy and society.

“In his reply to my letter, Micheál Martin has refused to support the establishment of such a committee.

“This is very disappointing. It shows that the Fianna Fáil leader needs to get serious about a United Ireland.

“The committee proposed by Sinn Féin would provide a forum where party political interests could be left at the door and where the idea of a broad consensus for Irish Unity could be nurtured.

“The recent experience of the chaos in Britain, caused by the vote to leave the EU, shows that possibilities of large scale change need to be planned for in advance.

“Crucially, part of the work of the Committee would be to put in place a vision for the future of the island that assures Unionists of their place in a New Ireland.

"This has to be an agreed Ireland. It will not happen by accident. It has to be planned for.

“Sinn Féin has always been of the view that cause of uniting Ireland is not the property of any one grouping or party.

“This is a programme of  work which Fianna Fáil should embrace.

“I have asked Micheál Martin to reconsider his position on the establishment of an Oireachtas Committee. I have also suggested that we meet in the near the future to discuss the idea further.

“We should all work towards the development of a broad civic movement for Irish Unity. The establishment of an Oireachtas Committee would advance this aspiration by helping in the formulating of legislative and political work that impact on the future direction of our county.”

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