Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said on Wednesday that she thinks a public holiday for the Twelfth of July in a united Ireland is a "good idea."
"When I get asked about Irish unity, I get asked the following: What about the anthem? What about the flag? What about a public holiday for the Twelfth of July, which I think is a good idea."
She continued: "I respectfully suggest that is the wrong place to start. Where I would start is with our health service."
McDonald was responding to a question about what a united Ireland would look like and if there are plans in place for solutions that might arise.
She later added "What I think needs to happen is not to rush. I’m not saying let’s gallop to the polls next week and have a referendum, that clearly would be farcical.
"But what I am saying is let’s not lose time now to start planning and discussing the practical bread-and-butter issues that matter.”
McDonald was speaking during a panel discussion alongside Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond and head of the Democratic Unionist Party Sir Jeffrey Donaldson at The Good Summit at Trinity College in Dublin, on October 27.
The seminar focused on Ireland's future and Donaldson told the primarily young audience that the time is not right for a border poll because it would be divisive for people in Northern Ireland.
Donaldson said that there didn't appear to be a majority in favor of change in Northern Ireland based on recent opinion polls and said that other issues needed to be prioritized.
He said that these issues included the continued building of reconciliation in the six counties and added that there was "still a long way to go" to repair the divisions caused by the Troubles.
"If we had a united Ireland tomorrow, it wouldn’t heal the wounds that were, and have, been created within Northern Ireland by over 30 years of a very deeply harmful conflict that occurred," Donaldson told the seminar.
"Therefore instead of looking to have referendums on these issues shouldn’t we be looking towards healing and reconciliation, healing the wounds . . . and then talking about what a shared future in Northern Ireland really looks like."
He added that Sinn Féin needed to listen to unionists' concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which unionists believe has threatened Northern Ireland's position in the United Kingdom by placing a trade border down the Irish Sea.
"I don’t believe that the way to resolve the issues around the Protocol are to dismiss unionist concerns."