Addressing republicans at an Easter commemoration in Belfast’s Milltown cemetery, the Sinn Fein deputy leader said: “Ending partition has now taken on a new dynamic because of Brexit...
“Because Brexit exposes the undemocratic nature of partition. Sinn Fein believes there should be a referendum vote on Irish unity within the next five years.”
Her speech also touched on the Good Friday Agreement, which marks its 20th anniversary this month, and the current Stormont impasse.
Ms O’Neill said republicans had engaged in talks for over a year and repeated criticisms of the DUP for walking away.
Thousands expected to take part in 'Derry Day' this weekend
Two new arrivals in DUP camp as UUP councillor Alan Lewis defects alongside serial party-switcher Henry Reilly
Brexit: There’s a fundamental con trick being played over Liz Truss’ Northern Ireland Protocol Bill says Lord Empey
BBC political editor Enda McClafferty sees the funny side after he’s caught on camera underdressed for live TV report
Rishi Sunak’s treasury ‘no friend of ours in fight against Protocol’: Paisley
She said: “The leadership of both parties reached a fair and balanced accommodation — a draft agreement — which we felt could address our concerns, and provide a basis to restore the Executive without further delay.
“However, Arlene Foster and the DUP leadership failed to deliver on this and chose to withdraw from the talks and collapse the process.
“For now, they are under no pressure from the British government to move, because Theresa May is in hock to the DUP.
“It’s no surprise the British government has put its self-interest before ours. But let’s be very clear here today the rights issues are not going away. We are not going away.”
Northern Ireland has been without a government since January 2017, when Martin McGuinness resigned amid a row over a botched green energy scheme.
Ms O’Neill also spoke about recent violence in Palestine and called for the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador. “So the Taoiseach should send the Israeli ambassador home and move immediately to recognise the state of Palestine.”
• See Morning View