North and South: Ireland is divided on the unity question

Our new series explores attitudes to Irish reunification

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When should a referendum on Irish unity be held, and how would citizens north and south vote? The answer to those questions are the subject of the first instalment of a series on Irish reunification, North and South, published today in The Irish Times.

Prof Brendan O’Leary and Irish Times features editor Mary Minihan join Hugh Linehan and Pat Leahy to discuss the findings of the poll.

They also discuss what was learned from focus groups held north and south on the same issues, with participants citing factors including security, the economy and identity as playing major roles in shaping their attitudes.

North and South is a collaboration between The Irish Times and ARINS, which is a joint research project of the Royal Irish Academy and the Keough-Naughton Centre for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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Brendan O’Leary is Lauder professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and honorary professor of political science at Queen’s University Belfast – and a member of its Democracy Unit. An honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy, his recent books include A Treatise on Northern Ireland (Oxford University Press) and Making Sense of a United Ireland (Penguin Ireland). He chairs the public opinion committee of ARINS, a joint initiative of the Royal Irish Academy and the University of Notre Dame.