Varadkar and unification


Sir, – Leo Varadkar thinks there could be a united Ireland in his lifetime. Could he explain, then, how the NHS will unite with the HSE? How the PSNI will unite with An Garda Síochána? How the Civil Service in the North will unite with the Civil Service in the South? How part of the United Kingdom will join the Irish Republic and thereby re-enter the EU, which it has just left, along with the rest of the UK?

Given that no one knows how long their life will be, the politicians would need to get working on these problems straight away.

Maybe they will need to get up earlier in the morning. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Why the concern about Leo Varadkar’s belief that the unification of our island “can happen in my lifetime”?

The youthful Tánaiste is likely to be around for another half century. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – A new term has entered the lexicon relating to the prospect of a united Ireland. Both Fine Gael and Sinn Féin have used the word ” reunification” as an intended outcome of any referendum. On what nebulous historical example is the verity of this word based? Does reunification mean the abolition of the Oireachtas? As they all trip over themselves trying to catch the imaginary shamrock bouquet, ”republican” parties in the South will want to start thinking further ahead than the next general election. Lives may depend on it. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.

Sir, – The remarks on Irish unification by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar at the Fine Gael ardfheis are likely set to herald a new drive in terms of integrating Ireland on a “shared island” strategic basis, whether unification materialises or not in his lifetime.

As such, the concept of preparedness for unification is likely to become a central tenet of Government policy and this may have a drastic influence in the area of local government reform particularly.

Any unification strategy would best include a new layer of government for each province (Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster and possibly Dublin separately) so that a devolved form of government for Ulster would essentially continue if the strategy were ever to be realised.

There has been much talk about directly elected mayors and the most congruent form would be replicating the UK model which elects regional mayors with strong powers, for example for London and Greater Manchester. Existing city and county councils could nominate delegates to such a new provincial layer of government, while local government representatives would need to be given a major increase in their ability to wield power.

A sure sign that the Government officially takes ultimate unification seriously at a policy level would be the witnessing of moves in this direction. – Yours, etc,


(Fine Gael),

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

County Council Offices,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – I would have thought that Tom Cooper (Letters, June 17th) would have seen the Tánaiste’s expressed desire for Irish unity within his lifetime as little more than a naked grab for the green vote. The Tánaiste’s follow-up regarding closer relations with the UK was obviously intended to soften the pill for the unionist community in Northern Ireland. That too went down like a lead balloon.

It is apparent to all but the most dense of nationalist opinion that Mr Varadkar shot himself in the foot. We are fast approaching the mid-summer marching season in Northern Ireland and the signs are anything but heartening. There was a fleeting glimmer of hope for goodwill between the competing interests after much hard work under the radar.

That hope has all but vanished, thanks to a momentary misuse of words in a public forum. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.

Sir, – The Tánaiste expects to see a unified Ireland within his own lifetime. I very much admire optimism from our political leaders but expecting to live well into the next century must place Mr Varadkar as the greatest optimist of all.

Has he found some elixir for such longevity? If so, if he could include the details in the next Fine Gael election manifesto, he will certainly get my vote for the next hundred years. – Yours, etc,



Co Mayo.