Working towards Irish Unity

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Predictions for 2023: The Protocol stays, Biden comes, and Donaldson goes

Political soothsaying is a notoriously inaccurate pursuit, yet the temptation to engage in a spot of festive prediction-making is just too enticing, I’m afraid. Here, then, in a spirit of wild-eyed optimism, and reckless fortune-telling I offer the following… So, 2023 is the unwanted year, sitting, as it does, just outside of the commemorations from […]

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We don’t need to keep Stormont in a united Ireland

How do you solve a problem like Stormont? I’m not referring to the current impasse that has mothballed Parliament Buildings since last February. That will resolve itself when the British government cuts a deal with the EU over the Protocol and bounces the DUP back into the executive in coming weeks. No, I am talking […]

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I will ‘happily accept’ a proposition I don’t support (and would like to vote on it too)

Okay, so riddle me this. Last Sunday’ poll in the Irish Times says 50% of people in Northern Ireland want to stay in the UK, with just 27% backing Irish unity. Pretty dramatic stuff, but not all as it seems, (as I mentioned in my piece yesterday). Further findings from the poll are revealed today, […]

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Enough voodoo polling! Time we had proper evidence about Irish unity

Well then, that’s it I suppose. Irish unity is a pipedream; no closer now than ever. Let’s pack up the tent and all go home. Yesterday’s poll in the Irish Times, commissioned by the ARINS project and carried out by Ipsos is pretty conclusive. Half of people in Northern Ireland want to remain in the […]

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Real votes from actual elections show growing demand for Irish unity

Nearly a quarter of a century on, we are all pretty familiar with the term in the Good Friday Agreement. There can only be a border poll on Irish unity if it appears ‘likely’ to the Secretary of State that ‘a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to […]

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43% ‘would vote for a united Ireland tomorrow’

As any book lover knows all too well, it always pays to read to the end. There’s some fascinating stat-nuggets in the recent University of Liverpool/Irish News polling, which showed Sinn Fein extending its lead to 10% over the DUP if fresh assembly elections were held tomorrow. The main thing that caught my eye, however, […]

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A Union of consent, or coercion?

Willing to survive the sweltering heat of central London, ensconced in one of the air-conditioned committee rooms in Portcullis House, I was thwarted only by the possibility of melting railway lines from attending this week’s discussion in the Palace of Westminster. If I had been able to attend and participate, as billed, alongside Sinn Fein’s […]

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Sinn Fein understands that presentation matters

As a PR type, I always shudder at those images of stern-looking middle-aged blokes stood behind one or other of Northern Ireland’s political leaders while they conduct a television interview. An equal opportunities criticism to be sure given all the parties do it. Its fine when its your negotiating team heading into talks, but as […]

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When it comes to Irish unity, the SDLP needs to raise its game

‘The SDLP’s nationalist, no question about,’ said the party’s South Belfast MP, Claire Hanna, responding to this website’s editor at an ‘Ireland’s Future’ event in the House of Commons last night. Kevin Rooney asked if it was still accurate to include them in a tally of parties committed to Irish unity. A reasonable question, given […]

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Three developments that feel significant

There are decades when nothing happens, Lenin famously observed, and weeks when decades happen. It’s a pretty good rule for understanding Irish history, with long periods of statis punctuated by dramatic events. Think of the period between 1798 and 1803 – with a brace of Irish revolutions, or between 1916 and 1921, with another two. […]