Bertie Ahern suggests Irish unity poll on Belfast Agreement 30th anniversary

Former taoiseach says more use should be made of North-South institutions

Bertie Ahern: ‘The only way it can happen is if the nationalist people, the Republican people and all the people in the South and the Republican Ireland can convince our unionist friends that this is the best thing for the whole island.’ Photograph: David Sleator

Bertie Ahern: ‘The only way it can happen is if the nationalist people, the Republican people and all the people in the South and the Republican Ireland can convince our unionist friends that this is the best thing for the whole island.’ Photograph: David Sleator

 

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said a poll on Irish unity could be held on the 30th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

Mr Ahern, who helped negotiate the 1998 Northern Ireland peace deal between Britain and the Republic, said more use should be made of its institutions.

The agreement established a series of institutions for political co-operation across Ireland.

Mr Ahern told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that a United Ireland was achievable.

He said: “Yes, I do. It can be done in the long term.

“It’s not going to be this decade, the vote should be the end of next decade, maybe on the 30th anniversary of the Good Friday [Belfast] agreement.

“The only way it can happen is if the nationalist people, the Republican people and all the people in the South and the Republican Ireland can convince our unionist friends that this is the best thing for the whole island.” – PA