Considering Irish unification
Sir, – Recent debates around the possibility of a united Ireland have thrown up some interesting arguments.
Some north of the Border have pointed out, rightly, that while the Republic is prosperous, certain benefits are still enjoyed in Northern Ireland that are not available here. In Northern Ireland, bins are collected without direct charges, there are no fees for doctor or hospital visits, and they do not pay for prescriptions.
Losing these benefits would represent a real issue for affected communities and so the subject should be taken seriously, but considering these issues in light of what was achieved in the Belfast Agreement, they do seem trivial in comparison. That these challenges could be easily resolved would appear obvious to many.
Indeed, if objections to a united Ireland are being reduced to bin charges, doctor’s visits and prescriptions, then the argument is already over.
Of course, if these issues do indeed represent serious sticking points, unionists will find many friends here in the Republic when it comes to shaping a new state.
I might even vote for them myself. – Yours, etc,