Unification by consensus
A chara, – Arising from Diarmaid Ferriter’s exhortation (Opinion, February 16th) to begin to discuss a united Ireland: the opportunities arising in the context of discussion of a united island should be understood.
Analysis of the government and administration of the two existing states would suggest that each is over-centralised: administratively in the Republic, and economically through state employment in the North.
A gradualist approach to re-unification should include initially the re-unification of Ulster: the nine-county province could have two administrative regions, east and west, prototypes for regional administrations to be developed through the island, each region supporting about a million people. While initially the Stormont Assembly could continue, its inherent deficiency, the absence of loyal opposition, has already become clear: small regional authorities with administrative but non-legislative powers would better serve the needs of the inhabitants.
While there is tension between the need for urgent action and the need for gradual and sustainable consensus, this can be addressed through allowing Ulster the highest degree of independence over a number of generations, within a British, Irish and European framework. – Is mise,
Ranelagh, Dublin 6.