At a packed Irish event in Atlantic City, the Ancient Order of Hibernians national convention on Wednesday evening July 13, Sinn Fein's Vice President and Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald appealed for help from Irish Americans to put a referendum on Irish unity to the people of Ireland and to put an end to partition.
She stated: “The recent Brexit vote in England, to leave the European Union, has serious implications for Ireland.
“We face the prospect of the north of Ireland being dragged out of the EU, having voted to remain.
“We face the prospect of a hard border being imposed on Ireland, dividing not just land but people.”
She continued: “Progress achieved through the Good Friday Agreement will be threatened.”
McDonald noted that “Irish America played a crucial role in the peace process, it could not have happened without that assistance. I'm asking here tonight that Irish America again raise your voice in support of unity and support our demand for a referendum on unity and for an end to partition."
The Sinn Féin second-in-command also spoke of the significant role played by Irish America 100 years ago in support of the Easter Rising.
"Irish America has never let us down," she said, pointing to the years of work for Ireland's right to freedom and justice.
"Those that came here in search of a new and better life never forgot where they came from and the desire to see Ireland ‘take its place among the nations of the world’ holds strong to this day."
During her US trip, McDonald also visited Washington DC and met Senator Elizabeth Warren and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Busy day in DC delighted to meet with .@NancyPelosi @elizabethforma & others to discuss Brexit & Ireland. pic.twitter.com/HW1J9q8uzs— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) July 13, 2016