Éirígí refuses SF 'common ground' talks

Published Tuesday, 23 April 2013
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Republican splinter party éirígí has declined talks with Sinn Féin aimed at finding a common ground and establishing potential areas of agreement.

Éirígí refuses SF 'common ground' talks
Sinn Féin told UTV the invite to éirígí for face-to-face talks still stands. (© Pacemaker)

Éirígí - which fielded candidates in the 2011 local government elections in Northern Ireland, but does not currently have any elected representatives - has instead proposed public debates with Sinn Féin.

Spokesman Breandán MacCionnaith claimed that the two parties' differences were too great to find a common ground, but that the debates would "engender widespread support and public interest".

But according to Sinn Féin, éirígí had initially responded to engagement by the party.

We would still invite éirígí into face to face discussions.

Sinn Féin

"We had written to éirígí on the same basis as we have engaged with others. Éirígí had responded seeking assurances that any contact would be private," a spokesman told UTV.

"These assurances were given to them. They have now responded through the media declining this approach and that is their right."

Mr MacCionnaith had hit out at Sinn Féin over the party's strategy, which he claims "advocates the de facto acceptance of partition and British interference in Irish affairs while also acting as administrators of British political, social and economic rule".

He also criticised attempts to label "all opponents of their political strategy" as dissident republicans and insisted that efforts to engage his party were "clear acknowledgement" of its legitimacy.

We in éirígí have sufficient confidence in our political views to openly debate and defend them in public. We hope that others do also.

Éirígí

According to Sinn Féin, the seeking of dialogue with various branches of republicanism - "some in other political groupings and many involved in none" - is ongoing and will continue.

"For our part, we have in the past and will again in the future appear on public platforms for debate with éirígí members," the spokesman said.

"We have no issue defending publicly our strategy for Irish reunification and, in particular, challenging those who continue to put forward the proposition that constitutional change will be achieved through armed actions. Indeed we do it every day of the week."

He added: "However, that is not the same thing as a process of dialogue about the future of Ireland - which we had hoped they would have the confidence to engage in."

© UTV News
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13 Comments
Anne in Ardoyne wrote (365 days ago):
Several of this groups founders walked away recently. Are they now trying to make themselves relevant. There is also several former Sinn Féin members involved who left SF not because of a disagreement over policy but because of personality clashes and egos. It is disappointing. They have become one of those type of groups that spend all their time attacking SF rather than trying to bring about a united, independent Ireland. One of their members was on the radio the other day and the bitterness towards SF was palpable. Rhetoric will not bring about Irish unity. As a well known republican once said 'wish lists are for Christmas' - get real folks and stop behaving like counter-revolutionaries.
Some Yank in Amerikay wrote (365 days ago):
Good for Eirigi They are Republicans.
Ted in Little ulster wrote (365 days ago):
A few questions for debate: How would making NI a viable entity, by bringing in inward investment, going on trade missions, generally promoting this failed entity and thus an attractive place to remain as part of the UK, bring about UI? How can administering British rule in a part of Ireland contribute to the change in people's minds thats needed to come around to the idea of an UI? Have SF not watched the movie 'Bridge on the river Kwai'? lt col Nicholson suddenly understands the situation and exclaims, "What have I done?" Watch the movie!
Michael in Belfast wrote (365 days ago):
The people across Ireland endorsed the GFA. If Eirigi thinks they can reject an agreement validated from Antrim to Cork then let them enter in discussions to articulate why they can assume such a right. The fact they none of these dissidents have the confidence to meet SF across a table and thrash out the issues speaks volumes.
Hooper in Belfast wrote (365 days ago):
That's an interesting analysis Gerry from Belfast. Of course the proposition could also be inverted and the analysis that S.F. are afraid to have a public debate in front of a Republican audience as the flaws and contradictions in their 'Republican' startegy might be exposed could also be reached. IMO Éirgi are not 'dissidents' opposed to the peace process. Éirigi are an Irish Republican political party with an emphasis on social justice, nothing more. In fact, it could be claimed that Érigi are what SF once professed to be.
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