Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald says United Ireland planning should be at heart of government

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he believes we are now on ‘the path to unification’.

Speaking this month he said, “I believe that there will be a united Ireland in my lifetime, and in that united Ireland there is going to be a minority, roughly a million people who are British. And you judge the success and the quality of a country by the way it treats its minorities and that’s something we’re going to have to think about.”

Uachtáran Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald says planning for Irish unification should be “at the heart of government”.

Mary Lou welcomed the comments by Leo Varadkar, saying she agrees with him – but challenged him to take action on the issue.

“Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, has correctly said that we’re on the path to Irish unity. The question and the challenge now for him and for the government is what are they going to do about that?

“Because we need processes and preparation that are inclusive, respectful, we need a process that’s democratic, entirely peaceful, and all of that requires active planning. You can’t wish that into existence. You have to roll up your sleeves and get the work done.

“The preparation for Irish unity can’t just be syphoned off or left in a silo of government. It needs to be planned at the heart of the government.”