Marking centenary of Northern Ireland

Sir, – I write in support of Martin Mansergh's argument that rather than the "old and futile habit of beating the drum for a united Ireland in search of votes", we should be seeking the "intermediary steps" required to improve unionist-nationalist and North-South relationships "before expecting such a big step to be agreed and taken" (November 5th).

That is what my former colleagues in the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh have been doing for nearly 20 years. Brexit is now seriously jeopardising their efforts to take some of the poison out of historically bad relations by working to research and develop practical cooperation for mutual benefit between the people of the two jurisdictions.

As somebody from a Northern Protestant background who has lived (mainly) in the South for the past 46 years, it has always astonished me just how little political, media and public discussion there is here about the crucial intermediary steps that will have to be taken if we are not to stumble into renewed conflict following the kind of crude border poll that is constantly demanded by Sinn Féin. – Yours, etc,



Rathmines, Dublin 6.