A Citizen’s Assembly on a United Ireland

By Sharon Ní Chonchúir, Contributor
December / January 2020

A united Ireland seems more possible now than at any point in our history


“Brexit has catapulted this issue forward,” says Pádraig Ó Muirigh, advisor to the Republican Sinn Féin Party. “There is a real sense that we’re living in historical times.” In October, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively agreed to place the de facto future border in the sea between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. This put both Irelands – the Republic and Northern Ireland – in one economic zone. It also showed Unionists that the English Conservatives considered them expendable. In the Republic, Taoiseach Varadkar has said that Irish unification is something that he would like to see in his lifetime, but only with the consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland. A group calling itself Ireland’s Future – consisting of 1,000 academics, artists, and public figures, including musicians Christy Moore and Mary Black – made an official request to the Taoiseach in October. It asked him to establish a citizen’s assembly on a united Ireland, in the hopes of holding a referendum on the issue in the near future. The government responded by saying that now was not the time for such action, but that it would consider the issue further.
A recent poll carried out in Northern Ireland found that 46 percent of people would vote for a united Ireland, while 45 percent would vote for the North to remain in the U.K. When those who said they didn’t know or wouldn’t vote were excluded, it broke down as 51 percent for unification and 49 percent against. Some 69 percent said they felt Brexit had made Irish unity more likely in the foreseeable future. ♦

3 Responses to “A Citizen’s Assembly on a United Ireland”

  1. Pat Howard says:

    Ladies, it would be nice in a way if life worked like that, but it doesn’t. Nations are not made nor remade by people shaking hands like kids on a playground and everyone lives happily ever after.
    There has to be heroism and probably violence, sacrifice, as in 1916. There has to emerge a great writer, or writers.
    Wait and see!
    Hopefully we will see, but if you are right that will be wonderful too.
    Watching, waiting, participating.
    Erin go bragh.
    Irish San Francisco

  2. Pat Howard says:

    What a battler is Ms. Gallagher, no crybaby. Can also deliver a bit of propaganda while claiming “hands off,” eh?
    Alfred Hitchcock’s parents – his mother Emma Whelan – were both Irish Catholics.
    Also – is it different for women? I find that when a beloved dies there is not a void – rather the beloved is with you forever – a great friend and comfort – a hope you will someday be reunited.
    Thanks for an interesting article. I have never read he lady’s works and don’t know if she’s read mine.

  3. Lar White says:

    I pray that Ireland will be united. Our people, my people have been split apart for far too long because of government using relation to keep a wage between us. We are all Irish and should stand together and strong as we should. It has been far too long that we the people of Ireland have been separated. Let us come together as one, a united Ireland.
    I would also like to suggest, that the flag be replaced. I believe that every county should submit a new Irish flag design, at which time the entire island should vote on these until it comes down to three. And a final vote to the to make a final pick on a new Irish flag. One that does not have three colors, the current keeps us apart today.

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