The time for Irish unity is now -- economically, politically it makes perfect sense
A small island divided into two economies makes no sense in the modern world
The danger that in the absence of a positive vision for reunification, and given the legacy of violence and sectarianism, reunification may be seen as a “victory” for one side over the other in a sectarian head count. If anything, victory must be a victory of Protestants: Their emergence from a neglected dysfunctional statelet that is merely an afterthought for Westminster politicians into a united vibrant new Ireland which they will shape as they have before.
Irish nationalism and culture is unthinkable without the great contribution of Irish Protestants. From Grattan to Wolfe Tone to Parnell, protestants created our national drive for independents. Douglas Hyde revived the Irish language. From Swift to Yeats to Beckett, Irish protestants have spread our culture around the world.
It is now time for them to complete their mission and re-unify Ireland. Not using the dead language of sectarian conflict. But a new vibrant and pluralist one built on a growing population, economies of scale, the advantage of links with Britain and the Euro zone and a reformed mindset political institutions.
In 1904 when contemplating the state of Israel Zionist leader Theodor Herzl said “If you will it, it is no dream”. If the dream of Irish unity is cleansed on sectarianism and head count logic – and willed forward by the huge realisable economic gains – it will be no dream, but a reality by the middle of this century.
*Marc Coleman is a broadcaster, journalist and author and these are his personal views www.marccoleman.ie
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