IRELAND is once again at a point of “great change” in its history, an Easter Rising commemoration in Donagh was told.

Addressing the crowds gathered for Sinn Fein’s annual Easter Sunday commemoration in Fermanagh, the party’s Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, said that republicans had an opportunity to “end the union, to end partition and build a new and united Ireland”.

Mr. Tóibín said that this year marked the centenary of the 1918 general election, in which, he said, the vast majority of Irish citizens “turned their backs” on Westminster and voted for republicans.

He said: “This was a changing Ireland led by a revolutionary generation. A generation of Gaels, of socialists, feminists and nationalists that found common cause in ending the union, in Irish sovereignty, equality and freedom.”

The TD claimed that Ireland was once more at a point of “great change”.

“The Orange state is gone. The perpetual unionist majority in the north has ended.

“The forces of conservative Ireland no longer enjoy the unquestioning support of citizen. The old orange and green is now part of a rainbow of colours and identities. A new Ireland is emerging,” he said.

However, Mr. Tóibín warned that this new and united country would have to be about “more than adding the north to the south”.

He said: “The challenge for us, for this generation of republicans is how we shape that change, how we build a new and united Ireland.”

The TD said that delivering Irish unity was the key to building a new Ireland.

He warned: “There are those on the side of the status quo who will try and frustrate change, to demonise republicans. They cannot and will not succeed, be they rejectionist unionists, Tories in Westminster or the elites in Dublin.”

Mr. Tóibín said that these groups were seeking to “impose” Brexit and an EU frontier across Ireland.

“They care not for our citizens, our rights or our economy. They now are attacking the Good Friday Agreement. An Agreement that belongs to the people of all Ireland and not the Tories in London,” he said.

Outlining the many challenges ahead, the TD said that Sinn Fein would have the institutions re-established in the North, with Michelle O’Neill as joint first minister.

“We will secure the right of citizens to marriage equality, to language rights,” he concluded.