TK Whitaker’s All-Ireland Council


Sir, – Further to the article by former president Mary McAleese (Opinion, July 3rd) on the future relationship between the Republic and Northern Ireland, perhaps an initial step in the right direction might be a suggestion made by the late Dr TK Whitaker some 20 years ago.

As one of the prime movers (behind the scenes) since the late 1960s for peace in Northern Ireland by constitutional means and, while he welcomed the Good Friday Agreement and the ending of violence as a means of achieving Irish unity, for him there remained one missing link.

That was the establishment of an All-Ireland Council (as originally intended in the early 1920s) composed of elected representatives from the Irish and Northern Ireland governments, and where issues affecting the entire island of Ireland could be monitored and addressed. Examples most recently might include Brexit and Covid-19.

And as Dr Whitaker himself expressed it: “Because such a council never actually came into existence and consequently never incurred any criticism. . .its potentiality is still green”.

– Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.