Planning for a united Ireland
A chara, – John A Murphy (May 3rd) dismisses Christopher Kissane’s argument (Opinion & Analysis, May 1st) that it is “time to start planning for a united Ireland” with the statement that it “brings us no nearer to answering the irreducible question, ie how to accommodate the unionist wish to preserve British allegiance and identity, not Protestant rights within a united Ireland – an irrelevant anti-partitionist red herring”.
In the context of the post-Brexit situation now looming, the reference to an anti-partitionist red herring is itself, I suggest, missing the point. If there is one thing unionists and nationalists are agreed on it is the need to preserve the soft, seamless, frictionless, invisible Border that we’ve all got used to over the past 20 years. There may not be agreement on a united Ireland but there appears to be widespread agreement on a united island, which, in the context of the 300-mile land Border between North and South, is simply recognising reality.
The challenge for nationalists is to convince unionists that in a post-Brexit united island their sense of British allegiance and identity can still be accommodated. I think both parts of Ireland have moved on from the anti-partitionist days of yore, and Christopher Kissane’s article is therefore both relevant and timely. – Is mise,