A higher percentage of Irish want to see a united Ireland and fewer oppose the idea a new Irish Times poll has revealed.

Sixty-four per cent want to see a United Ireland down narrowly from higher numbers in the 1980s but those against a united Ireland has shrunk to just 8 per cent from more than double that.

Twenty eight per cent, mostly young people, have no opinion, a figure that has also doubled.

There was other good news for proponents of a united Ireland with 56 per cent saying that a 32 county Ireland constituted the Irish nation with only 27 per cent saying the 26 counties, a drop of 11 per cent in the latter number.

That news will be heartening to political parties such as Sinn Fein who have pushed a 32 county identity hard.It also comes after decades of revisionist commentary seeking to define the Irish nation as the 26 counties.

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Meanwhile on the question of whether Northern Ireland is Irish or British 46 per cent say it is both 30 per cent said it is Irish, 9 per cent said it is British and the rest had no opinion.

As for the date for a united Ireland the vast majority do not believe it will happen in the next 25 years.
In terms of seeing the North as Irish and hoping for unity those polled in Dublin and Munster were far less inclined to believe in unity compared to those in Connacht and the three Ulster counties in the irish Republic.

Thirty-five per cent stated Northern Ireland would never be reunited with the South, 6 per cent thought it would be reunited in 10 years, 16 per cent  by 25 years, 15 per cent in 50 years, 8 per cent said in 100 years and 20 per cent had no opinion.

Under the Good Friday agreement the political mechanism now exists to hold a referendum in Northern ireland on retaining the border. Nationalists state that demographics are moving strongly in their direction but unionists say that polls in the North show many Catholicsprefer the status quo.