Planning for a united Ireland

Sir, – Mary Lou McDonald's opinion piece ("Government must persuade and plan for a united Ireland", January 26th) speaks of the cost of partition without a word pertaining to the cost of "unification".

She identifies a “live” conversation surrounding Irish unity, while for the vast majority of us citizens and our families the “live” conversation now and for some considerable time to come will be about staying alive in this pandemic and surviving economically thereafter.

She self-servingly cites aspects of Brexit and Covid that suit her argument while ignoring the fact that we are currently in the maelstrom of both, which is never a good time to draw definitive conclusions.

And as ever with Sinn Féin, our unionist neighbours on this island feature in her discourse just enough to avoid the accusation of being totally ignored.


Her view that the conversation is headed only in one way, to referendums on Irish unity, may well be true.

I just hope that by then the tenor of the Sinn Féin conversation on the matter will have changed whereby its obdurate tones of pietism, presumption and inevitability will be tempered by empathy, unison and congruity. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – If Mary Lou McDonald were serious about truly “uniting” Ireland, she would abjure the “armed struggle”, distance herself and her party from those involved in it, and make friends with unionists.

In short, release the bee from her bonnet. – Yours, etc,



Cambridgeshire, UK.