Stephen Collins: Varadkar, Martin right to rebuff united Ireland citizens’ assembly

Irish nationalism has realised that co-operation rather than conflict is a far better route

Micheál Martin: He  deserves commendation for not seeking party advantage, which is always the temptation for an opposition leader. Instead he has put the country’s interests first, just as he has done throughout the Brexit saga.  Photograph: Getty Images

Micheál Martin: He deserves commendation for not seeking party advantage, which is always the temptation for an opposition leader. Instead he has put the country’s interests first, just as he has done throughout the Brexit saga. Photograph: Getty Images

The leaders of the two biggest parties in the Dáil, Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, have done the State some service by rebuffing the ill-considered request by 1,000 luminaries who have written an open letter calling for the establishment of a citizens’ assembly to pave the way for a united Ireland.

Nothing could be more dangerous for both parts of Ireland in the unstable political atmosphere generated by Brexit than the emergence of a pan-nationalist front pressing for the realisation of the “first national aim”.

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