Published Friday, 09 November 2012
Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams called for Irish Americans to support the campaign. (© UTV)
Addressing an audience in New York, Gerry Adams announced Sinn Féin would be commencing a campaign for to call a referendum in the New Year.
Mr Adams said republican ambitions for Irish unity had been boosted by the decision to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in two years' time.
He also urged Irish Americans to use their influence.
"Irish America needs to persuade political opinion in America that a united Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA," he said.
But the DUP MP dismissed Mr Adam's comments, saying he was "detached from reality if he believed a border poll in Northern Ireland was a key issue for any American".
He also claimed evidence shows a strengthening of support for the Union in Northern Ireland.
"Even if by some miracle Gerry Adams were able to persuade Americans that the future of Cork is of greater 'strategic interest' to the USA than the future of Chicago or even China, the decision on a border poll would not actually be affected," he commented.
"A border poll can only be called by the Secretary of State when there is likely to be a vote in favour of changing our constitutional status.
The DUP is not concerned about the likelihood of such a poll being held, nor are we worried about what the outcome would be.
He added: "All recent evidence actually points to a strengthening of support for the maintenance of Northern Ireland's position within the UK.
"The only people who cling to the notion of a border poll are Sinn Fein and a few gullible commentators who claim it would somehow bring stability. The reality is, that in Northern Ireland as in the United States the issues of importance to our citizens is the stability of our economy and the prospects for employment."
He also said he was confident that Scottish people would choose to remain within the United Kingdom.
In March 1973 the question of Northern Ireland's continued participation in the UK versus a united Ireland was raised with the sovereignty referendum. The result was an overwhelming vote in favour of remaining within the UK.
© UTV News