Divided opinion on united Ireland?


Sir, – Diarmaid Ferriter argues that “We need to discuss what a united Ireland might look like” (Opinion, February 16th).

But why? There is no particular virtue in having one state per landmass and no reason to adopt a united Ireland as an end in itself. A better aim might be to create arrangements that promoted peace and prosperity without having any group feel “left behind”, shut out or otherwise discriminated against.

Pre-empting discussion by insisting on a single outcome is as much to be deprecated as the avoidance of debate and the lazy sloganeering that Mr Ferriter rightly condemns. Creating new options might help.

For instance, perhaps a New Union might help: a confederation between Ireland and Scotland, with each retaining maximum independence and its own head of state, but with shared responsibility for Northern Ireland, whose citizens could opt for Scottish, Irish or remainder-British identities.

That is not, of course, a developed policy proposal and I don’t intend to defend it as such. I suggest it rather as an example of how wider horizons might allow more options to be considered. Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend. – Yours, etc,


Castleconnell, Co Limerick.

A chara, – How curious that Diarmaid Ferriter, in an otherwise welcome article on the need for deeper discussion of Irish unity mentions the stance of nearly all parties – except Sinn Féin, the one party that, unlike the other parties, has produced what he advocates – plans and policies about what type of United Ireland we wish to see. – Is mise,


Sinn Féin,

City Hall, Dublin 2.