Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is calling on Irish Americans to use their influence to support the republican party's calls for a referendum on Irish unity.
According to Leftfootforward.com, Adams declared in a speech in New York last week that the issue has been given 'added impetus by the recent decision to hold a referendum in 2014 on Scottish independence.'
Adams then reminded the audience that the Good Friday Agreement grants the Northern Ireland secretary the power to hold such a referendum at any point.
'The Good Friday Agreement provides for a border poll on Irish unity. Sinn Fein in the new year will commence a campaign to achieve this. That means we need to build momentum and support so that the Irish and British governments are persuaded to hold a border poll.
'We will then have to campaign for a YES vote and to persuade the people of the island of Ireland to support unity and the creation of a new Republic.'
Adams then asked Irish Americans to support the party's efforts.
'Irish America needs to persuade political opinion in America that a United Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA.
'Irish America needs to get your new President and Secretary of State and the USA to use your enormous influence with the British to move them in that direction also.
'And we need Irish America to support the holding of a border poll.'
In June, polling in the Belfast Telegraph showed a substantial majority of people in the north rejecting Irish unity, with just 7% of respondents saying they would vote to remove the border between the north and south of Ireland immediately, while just a quarter would support removing it before 2032.
Overall, 55% came out against any change, with 13% stating they had no opinion on the subject.
Declaring Gerry Adams to be 'detached from reality,' the DUP’s Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds told the press:
'With Gerry Adams having turned himself into a figure of ridicule within Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland it would seem he is intent on now taking this to the United States of America. In a country less than eight weeks away from a ‘fiscal cliff’ it highlights Adams’s complete detachment from reality that he believes the biggest issue in the minds of Americans must be a border poll and a united 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. 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.'