Sinn Féin group place ads in US newspapers for Irish unity referendum
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the move.
An advertising campaign from the US branch of Friends of Sinn Féin calling for a referendum on Irish unity will appear in several US newspapers on Wednesday.
The half-page ads will run with the title "A United Ireland – Let the people have their say" with the Irish Times reporting they will be published in the New York Times and the Washington Post.
A similar ad will also run in Irish-American publications such as the Irish Echo in the run up to St Patrick’s Day next week.
The advertisement - which Friends of Sinn Féin USA have posted to their Twitter page - reads: "We appeal to the Irish Government to promote and plan for unity.
"As Americans, we call upon our government and public representatives to urge the British government to set the date for the Unity Referendum.
"This is the time for the people of Ireland to have their say.
"With your support, we can be the first generation of Americans to visit a free and United Ireland."
It also states: "The Good Friday Agreement provides for a referendum on Irish Unity.
"The choice is clear. A United Ireland and membership in the European Union.
"Or a divided island at the mercy of the British Government."
The campaign is supported by a number of Irish-American groups, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish American Unity Conference and the James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the call for Irish unity and praised the groups involved.
She said in a statement: “Irish America has been central to the signing and safeguarding of the Good Friday Agreement.
“The central principle of the Agreement is the right of the people to determine their constitutional future.
“A unity referendum is the measure of that right and an essential commitment of the Agreement.
“Brexit, the British government breaking international law, and threats from unionism are a challenge to the Good Friday Agreement.
“Change is underway, it cannot be resisted but it must be managed. Now is the time to recommit, and not resile, from the commitment to peace and democracy.
"I commend the groups involved for their common sense call for the Irish government to prepare and promote Irish Unity as part of an informed, respectful and inclusive process and for the British government to set the date for the Unity Referendum.”