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AOH to hold united Ireland meeting

Tyrone AOH president Gerry McGeough pictured with members of the order's new Irish language division. Craobh na nGael
Connla Young

THE Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) are to meet in Co Antrim this weekend in a bid to develop a new strategy for a united Ireland.

Delegates from across the island, Scotland and the United States will gather in Toome on Saturday for the extraordinary general meeting to discuss the order’s future direction.

Those behind the meeting, which takes place ahead of the Catholic organisation’s national convention later this year, say that Tyrone-based members intend to “present a radical nationalist agenda aimed at securing a united Ireland in the short term”.

It is understood the Tyrone County Board of the AOH agreed at a meeting last weekend to “put the issue of Irish unity at the forefront of the order’s future strategy discussions”.

Tyrone president Gerry McGeough last night said “it’s time that our voice was heard and our aspirations fulfilled”.

The leading Hibernian said that his organisation had called for a border poll in 2010.

“Unfortunately, our proposal fell on deaf ears and here we are seven years later facing an immediate Brexit crisis for which no-one is adequately prepared,” he said.

Mr McGeough also revealed that the AOH has formed a new Irish language division called Craobh na nGael which is comprised entirely of Irish speakers.

He said the future political focus for parties should be on achieving Irish unity.

“The political focus at the moment appears to revolve around keeping the north within the EU," he said.

“We believe that this is a futile strategy and that it would be better to demand that when the British leave Europe that they should leave Ireland on the same day. We can take care of our own affairs after that.”

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