Northern editor Tommie Gorman says he is ‘full of hope’ for Ireland in final broadcast

Gorman retires after more than four decades working for RTÉ

RTÉ's Northern editor Tommie Gorman has said he still believes the island of Ireland is "full of hope" in his final report for the national broadcaster.

In a reflection of his two decades as Northern editor on Sunday night, Gorman said he believed all parties in Stormont, along with politicians in the Republic, were "committed to try and make things work".

He acknowledged the current challenges facing the Northern Assembly but noted that when he thought of Derry in 1980, "the Ireland I see now, North and South, it's a better place".

In his final interview, Gorman spoke with first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill about the Northern Irish protocol, vaccine supplies and a potential border poll.

The DUP leader warned the protocol had damaged the North in a "very real and meaningful way" but added that she did not believe people would "engage with any self-harm if they believe they can be who they want to be and if they are entitled to all the benefits of being in the United Kingdom. "

Ms O’Neill called on the DUP to “show responsibility for the challenges and the situation we find ourselves in today” and said everyone in the North had been “a victim of partition, not just nationalists and republicans, unionists included”.

Speaking after the interview, Gorman said he believed both leaders were still “committed to the concept of power sharing” but that he worried whether the assembly would survive until the May elections. He expressed concern that the “architecture” of the Good Friday Agreement was being destabilised because of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, adding that the British government under Boris Johnson was not prioritising the North. However, Gorman ended the interview on a positive note, expressing his confidence in the commitment of leaders to maintain peace and stability in the North.