Ned’s truth in the face of ‘united Ireland’ nonsense

 

That ridiculous hot air balloon suggesting a united Ireland is just around the corner has been well and truly pricked by Listowel Fianna Fáil senator Ned O’Sullivan.

Just appointed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin to the newly-formed Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Committee on Northern Ireland, Senator O’Sullivan insists that the old, traditional, Dublin-ruled, united Ireland concept is unrealisable and nonsense. And he’s right.

It is clear that the trend of history points to a position where both parts of Ireland may come together – but, if that happens, it will result from negotiations and compromises, some elements of which have not even been thought of yet.

What, for instance, would the flag for a united Ireland look like. If the answer is the Tricolour, then how would that reflect the inclusion of over one million people in the North who self-describe as British? Are they to be ignored? And if they are to be ignored, what does that say about the truth of our vision for a shared island – and what risk does that hold for dissent and further conflict.

Fact is, 24 years after the Good Friday Agreement there is no peace yet in the North, just an absence of violence.

Tragically, the murder and mayhem that lasted over 30 years drove a deeper wedge between the communities up there.

Those divisions need to heal first, before we even consider a border poll to usher in what would otherwise be a forced and dangerous ‘unity’.

As John Hume suggested, only after many decades of real peace and reconciliation can there be a coming together of the territory of Ireland.

Ned O’Sullivan is right. People first. Always people first.