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Reality is a united Ireland is further away than ever

Published 13/08/2015

Martin McGuinness has reiterated that a "united Ireland is inevitable" (DebateNI, August 11). One would say it is conceivable, but certainly not a certain thing.

Forty years of implacable unionist and loyalist resolve has put any such idea out the window, although they are open to the idea "if the conditions are right".

If Sinn Fein wants to unite this island, they face a daunting and arduous task. The first problem is Northern Ireland itself, which is a deeply divided and polarised society. Then, there is the Republic which has lost popular interest in Northern Ireland, given its deadlock.

The southern public has more or less the same attitude as Westminster and the wider UK public: let's forget about Northern Ireland; they'll have to sort it out themselves.

Martin McGuinness has failed to accept the enormity of the task that he wishes to fulfil. He has put no date on when a united Ireland will occur. The biggest criticism of republicanism is that they have no vision of what a united Ireland will look like.

Does Martin McGuinness really believe that unionists in a unitary state will be governed by Dublin? Republicans tend to live in a romantic world (as opposed to a practical one).

Even if a united Ireland did come about by a miracle, people would reflect on all the suffering, pain, hate, and death and ask themselves was it worth it - given the price to be paid for it?

Republicans may have to accept, given the passage of almost a century and a failed military campaign against the British government and factions within Northern Ireland, that a united Ireland is getting further away - not getting closer.

MAURICE FITZGERALD

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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