There is currently ongoing research into the question of Irish Unity by 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.
In an article recently published in the Irish Times researchers from the project wrote,
“While the results of the simultaneous surveys published last year found that there are currently clear majorities against unity in the North and in favour in the South, the research as a whole – including the focus group discussions – also revealed that for many people there is an appetite for further information and discussion on the topic.”
While the opinion polls represent a snapshot in time. In this instance, the polls were where conducted before the recent local government elections in the North that return a majority of candidates in favor of Irish Unity.
The focus groups were drawn from undecided voters representing a swing constituency in the North of Ireland and found.
“people’s strong desire for a more structured discussion on the implications of a united Ireland, and for expert information – in particular on economics and public services. And it showed that participants – even those who initially expressed strong opinions – were open to considering alternatives.”
The report authors found,
“There was general agreement that holding Brexit-style referendums, without a detailed plan as to what happens afterward, would be a disaster. Only the Irish government and parliament have the credibility to outline a pre-referendum model for a united Ireland, striking a balance between setting out what would happen if the referendums were passed, while allowing scope for post-referendum debate. “
The demographic and political changes North and South are building the potential to achieve a united Ireland.
The debate on Irish unity is live and yet the Irish Government is failing to plan, prepare or persuade.