Northern Ireland news

Breandán Mac Cionnaith: Irish unity not a case of 'changing one flag for another'

Breandán Mac Cionnaith, national vice-chairperson of éirígí, addresses the party's Easter commemoration in Milltown Cemetery. Picture by Mal McCann

IRISH unity cannot be a case of "changing one flag for another", éirígí has said.

Breandán Mac Cionnaith told the anti-agreement party's Easter commemoration that a united Ireland required a complete change of the "political, social and economic order".

The party's vice-chair, a former IRA prisoner who represented Garvaghy Road residents during the Drumcree stand-off in the 1990s, told supporters that the "Ireland of today is one in which so-called republican parties are complicit in surrendering Irish national sovereignty to both Britain and the European Union".

"The Ireland of today is one in which a small wealthy elite controls the bulk of wealth... an Ireland where homelessness and poverty are on the rise and where food banks exist in all our towns and cities."

An éirígí parade assembled at the entrance to Milltown Cemetery and made its way to the plot of Fenian William Harbinson, in the year of the 150th anniversary of the Fenian Rising and his death.

A short time earlier, supporters of the Official Republican Movement also gathered at Milltown Cemetery for their Easter commemoration.

Speaker Damien Rushe said it had "paid a heavy price for standing up to the descent into sectarianism" in the past, before going on to criticise the prevailing economic conditions in Ireland today.

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