Working towards Irish Unity




Making Sense of a United Ireland

Watch this online discussion with Professor Brendan O’Leary, author of ‘Making Sense of a United Ireland’, which took place on Monday June 12th.

Pro-Irish Unity parties won more votes than Unionism in the last election but how close are we to a border poll and United Ireland? Professor Brendan O’Leary, author of ‘Making Sense of a United Ireland’ and a central figure in the Unity debate, drilled down into some of the key issues in conversation with

How should we view ‘losers consent’?

Can we trust the opinion polls?

Does the current Irish government want a United Ireland? Where is the evidence?

How do we encourage Dublin governments in the next decade to prepare properly for the momentous possibility of Irish reunification? Time for a Department of Reunification?

Is support for the Union in irreversible decline or just Political Unionism?

Are those who call for supermajorities and turnout thresholds anti-democrats?

How should we respond to UToV (Unionist Threat of Violence)? Is it an attempt to deter soft voters voting unity in a referendum and the Irish government from explicitly working for reunification?

Why are more Catholics disposed to the Union than Protestants to a United Ireland and what can be done to reverse that?

Are most people aware of comparisons between the Republic and UK? For example, health and educational outcomes between North and South as well as economic performance, pensions, welfare, tax and GDP per jurisdiction? How much will these factors shape voting intentions?

Will people vote with their heart or their head in a Border Poll?

What is most likely to woo the persuadables?

Any lessons from unification referendums in other parts of the world?

In the event of a successful Unity result what measures are most likely to reassure unionists in a New Ireland? Or, is offering concessions to unionism in danger of solidifying a unionist sense of entitlement?

Citizens Assembly – good idea or bad idea?

Model of a New Ireland – presented before or after a successful referendum?

What should be the criteria to trigger a border poll?

If Brendan was a bookie what odds would he offer on a successful Unity Border Poll by 2031?