Noel Whelan: Prospect of united Ireland is no longer fanciful

Frank debate about unity should be pursued without fear of spooking unionists

In recent times, mainstream southern politics dared not to speak of Irish unity for fear that to do so would unsettle unionism at delicate moments in the peace process. Illustration: Getty

In recent times, mainstream southern politics dared not to speak of Irish unity for fear that to do so would unsettle unionism at delicate moments in the peace process. Illustration: Getty

We need to talk about Irish unity. We have been avoiding the conversation in the Republic for too long. The ground has shifted quite dramatically on the question in recent years. Last week’s Assembly Elections in Northern Ireland was a reflection of that new reality. The results of that election should now also serve as a lightbulb moment for nationalism south of the border.

In recent times, mainstream southern politics dared not to speak of Irish unity for fear that to do so would unsettle unionism at delicate moments in the peace process or would serve to boost Sinn Féin in the Republic.

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