A federal future for Ireland?


Sir, – Brendan Flanagan, in his proposal for a federal solution for Ireland’s future (August 13th), is correct in his contention that any discussion of a “united Ireland” is premature.

I would not, however, blame alien nationalism entirely for current proposals. I believe much Brexit debate and sentimentality is fuelling speculation. I honestly believe there would be no meaningful, fully supported, Border poll or any other unification success without first having a universal act of reconciliation between unionists and nationalists, both in spirit and in practice. There was talk of such a move during the Belfast talks but all I have seen are a few welcome, more personal, gestures.

With the help of modern social media and the example by our youth of how a grass roots movement for climate action can succeed, it is, perhaps, an opportune time for a popular movement towards reconciliation.

Ireland, post Brexit, will require 100 per cent co-operation between North and South. How much more easily such a dream could be built on a post-reconciliation movement. The fruits of such a movement would have a much greater chance of prompting a more meaningful and lasting union in a reasonable timeframe.

The dream: dissatisfaction with the current situation, grassroots action for change, reconciliation, understanding, common endeavour, success, unification. – Yours, etc,


Delgany, Co Wicklow.

Sir – I beg to differ with Brendan Flanagan on two levels (Letters, August 13th).

First, technically, a federal solution requires an agreed central government to delegate downward to the federal states. There is no, and in the present political climate, unlikely ever to be an agreed central government.

Second, practically, a possible solution might be a confederation (à la Switzerland) where disparate states delegate powers (such as defence, finance, foreign affairs) upwards.

Unfortunately neither solution is likely to be attempted by the feeble-minded cacocracy currently ruling at both sides of the Irish Sea. – Yours etc,


Greystones, Co Wicklow.