March for Irish Unity from County Donegal to County Tyrone

A ‘March for Irish Unity’ will take place today between Lifford in County Donegal and Strabane in County Tyrone.

Republicans of all shades are expected to converge on Strabane for the first March for Irish Unity. Speakers will include well-known musician Frances Black as well as Irish language campaigners.

With a broad section of Irish society now calling for a border poll, Sinn Féin has urged a Six County referendum on reunification to be held within five years. But the Dublin government has said it is “not a good idea” in the medium term. Tanaiste and Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney was responding to a call made by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald at the party’s annual conference last weekend.

But organisers say the parade this weekend is the start of an Ireland-wide movement that “cannot be stopped”.

The march, which organisers said is anti-sectarian, grassroots gathering, has the backing of a number of republican groupings, including Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Socialist Party. Unionists have also been invited along to “discuss their place in a united Ireland”.

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley said: “Partition has failed our people and prevented our entire island from reaching its true social, economic potential. Sinn Féin will be supporting the March for Irish Unity.”

Independent Strabane councillor Paul Gallagher said the parade would be a platform for the communities in the north-west of Ireland to express their desire for a united Ireland. “It’s a non-party, non-political, non-sectarian, peaceful march,” he added.