Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has claimed a united Ireland is inevitable – but some time off.

The Republic’s leader has told a conference in Cleveland that Irish unification is likely in the long term.

He made the remarks at a question and answer session during a visit to promote investment in Ireland. reports that Kenny said he believed a unification of the two countries would happen ‘one day."

He told guests: “This will require a referendum to be approved in both countries, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, and is not likely to happen in the near future.

“The priority is keeping peace on the streets.”

PM Kenny also told the meeting that there are signs of an economic recovery in Ireland although the economy is still ‘stuttering’.

Kenny added: “We are moving steadily in the right direction.

“However we cannot be complacent about the challenges that lie ahead. It is a long and difficult road.”

Reports say Kenny also assured his American audience that Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent would not be changed.

He said that Ireland’s inflation was among the lowest in Europe.

Irish Prime Minister Enda KennyGoogle Images