United Ireland – give and take

A chara, – I agree with much of what Frank Schnittger writes (Letters, December 27th) when he reminds us that a united Ireland will require winning referendums both North and South.

In the 35 years that I have been involved in politics at various levels, the single most important objective that has driven me has been the achievement of Irish reunification. I believe it is logical, desirable and inevitable within my lifetime, and now is quite rightly the time for debate and discussion to begin.

However, if the proposition being put to me involves my acquiescence in the dilution of the fundamental nature of the Irish state, or one that requires my country to become more British, I will vote No.

I love Ireland, I love being Irish, and I love (almost) everything about this land. I don’t want to become more like France, or Spain, or Britain, or America.


I love my flag, I love my national anthem, and I certainly don’t want to rejoin an anachronistic institution with a foreign hereditary monarch as its head.

Post-reunification, there can be no question of unionists being treated in the manner that Northern unionists treated non-Protestants and Southern nationalists treated non-Catholics for most of their jurisdictions’ existence. That era is over, and good riddance.

However, I don’t believe for a second that any self-respecting unionist will abandon their principles for any of the token gestures being dangled so patronisingly in front of them, and to continue this charade is an insult to their intelligence and passionately held beliefs.

Ireland is consistently rated as one of the best countries in the world to live in. It’s time we started to believe in ourselves.

The only deal on the table can be for the people of all religions and none who share this island to join in a modern, pluralist, welcoming and diverse republic.

When sufficient numbers North and South accept that proposal, it will come about. Until then, I’m prepared to wait. – Is mise,


Dublin 2.