Professor James Dornan the father of Northern Ireland actor Jamie has said he would vote for a united Ireland if it offered unionists "a better deal".
Professor James Dornan, a obstetrician and gynecologist, told Channel 4 News that “everything is on the table” after the Brexit vote and that a border poll on Irish unity was likely to be held before 2022.
The father of the Fifty Shades of Grey actor, who is from a unionist background, said he has started to think he might back a united Ireland.
He said: “I would traditionally be thought of as being quite happy with the Union and I have been. It has been very good to me, educationally and health wise and everything else in my life.”
Asked if he was “thinking the unthinkable” about voting for a united Ireland, he replied: “It is not so much that I am thinking the unthinkable. I think everything is on the table at the moment.”
On whether he thought a border poll would see a victory for Irish unity, he said: “Against the Union as we have at the moment. There is a lot of people nowadays, not just me, who are saying ‘you know what, if somebody offers me a better deal and somebody offers me a good deal, then I would go for it’."
Mr Dornan said he was “absolutely sure” there are ongoing talks between senior officials in Belfast and Dublin about what a united Ireland would look like.
“I think that is definitely going on day and daily,” he said. “I think at every level, at the highest level."
SDLP veteran and former deputy first minister Seamus Mallon told Channel 4 news that it would be a mistake to rush towards a border poll without laying the ground work first.
He said: "To try and barnstorm it with a poll of that nature in a short period of time without doing the ground work could be very dangerous indeed.
"We would be doing to the unionists what was done to us and they would feel exactly the same as we felt for so long and there would be the danger of violence coming from that."