SINN Féin’s Eliisha McCallion said there is a role for everybody in the discussion of what a united Ireland could look like.
She was speaking after Saturday’s ‘Towards a United Ireland’ conference in Letterkenny.
The Foyle MP said: “Partition has failed Ireland but it has especially failed this region of the north west and Donegal.
“This area has a lack of jobs, poor infrastructure, pitiful access to health services and low levels of investment.
“This is a direct consequence of partition.
“We need to harness the energy, the optimism and the lessons from recent progressive campaigns – such as marriage equality and the repeal of the 8th amendment – into one demanding the reunification of our country.
“A United Ireland is a sensible, progressive and modern goal.
“We need to start planning to win a unity referendum and that means we have to start addressing the concerns some people have now. That includes unionists.
“As republicans, we have a responsibility to address how a new Ireland can allow those who identify as British to maintain their identity, their culture and their place in society.
“There is a need for wider society to engage in this discussion – at home, in the workplace and everywhere – to help shape that new Ireland.
“Irish unity makes sense, we have an opportunity to build a new, agreed and inclusive Ireland which delivers for all citizen,” added the former Mayor of Derry.