Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald says Twelfth could be a public holiday in the United Ireland

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According to Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald, the annual celebrations on July 12 could be a public holiday in the event of a united Ireland.

The leader said he supported the idea of ​​making the Orange Order’s ‘Twelfth’ celebration a public holiday and thought it was a “good idea”.

Mrs McDonald was speaking at an event in Dublin on Wednesday with DUP’s Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond.

The leader also addressed the broader question of the Irish unity debate and said the next steps for a united Ireland are “not to rush”.

“What about the anthem? What about the flag? How about a public holiday on July 12, which I think is a good idea?

“I’m not saying we can gallop to the polls next week and have a referendum, that would be plainly ridiculous. But I mean, let’s not waste time getting started planning and discussing practical bread and butter issues that are important now.”

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Mary-Lou McDonald visiting Londonderry…Photo of Sinn Fein chairman Mary-Lou McDonald speaking to the media during her visit to Londonderry on Thursday. Picture date: Thursday, August 26, 2021. PA Photo.

Mr Donaldson told the event that a united Ireland would not “heal wounds” as a result of the past.

Sir Jeffrey rejected the idea of ​​a border survey, saying last year showed a “long road” to reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

“That would be very divisive. It polarizes society in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“I don’t think we need that at the moment. I think the majority of Northern Ireland would like to stay in the UK.

“I think it’s clear from all the opinion polls we’ve done. I don’t think there is a majority for change, and to be honest, we have a lot of other priorities to deal with.”

“Last year showed that we still have a long way to go in building reconciliation and bringing people in Northern Ireland together.

“I think that too should be a priority right now.

“As I said, I don’t think we should take this forward, I think we should look at ways we can build our shared future.

I believe it also means understanding our common history and not being afraid to engage with our common history,” he said.

Ms McDonald, meanwhile, said she hopes the Irish language law will come into effect in Westminster in the coming weeks.

The government has pledged to move forward with legislation for Irish language protections in Westminster after failed attempts at Stormont, and Mr Lewis said the move would come at some point in October.

The government has previously faced calls from the DUP not to proceed with legislation while trade unionist concerns over Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol remain unaddressed.

“Whether it’s language rights or other issues, something really important in public life, especially in the truly unique power-sharing arrangement we have in the North, when we sign it. They are closed to the agreements we have implemented,” he said.

“I hope we can get to the point where we rationally argue a bit, negotiate, agree, and then execute. It’s the only rational way we can do business.”

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