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We Could All Learn A Lot From Patrick Kielty's Mature Approach To A United Ireland

We Could All Learn A Lot From Patrick Kielty's Mature Approach To A United Ireland
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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While there is no way of knowing when it will come, it seems inevitable that there will be a border poll on the potential reunification of Ireland in the next few decades.

The political landscape has slowly been changing in the north, with the demographic of people who would favour a united Ireland steadily rising. The process has also been potentially brought forward by the impact of Brexit.

Of course, it would not a straightforward process. It would require compromise on both sides, something that is often overlooked south of the border.

While most in the Republic would favour a united Ireland, they might not necessarily welcome changes to the flag or national anthem in order to accommodate unionists as part of a new or remodelled state.

It is a conversation that will need to be had in the years ahead.

Patrick Kielty praised for take on a united Ireland

Patrick Kielty has long been one of the most measured voices when it comes to this subject.

The Down native comes from a nationalist background, his father was tragically shot dead by unionist group the Ulster Freedom Fighters when he was only 16-years old.


Despite the way in which this issue has affected him personally, he takes a very balanced approach when it comes to discussing the nuances of a potentially united Ireland.

Appearing on the The Tommy Tiernan Show, he said that there would have to be some changes made south of the border if a joined up state was to become a reality.

The north has always sorted itself out in spite of the politicians. Most people in the north are really very interested in what's happening down here - and how you guys are going to move forward.

You know, if you look at two peoples in the north, who were polar opposites and wanted each other dead and you have to compromise to live - you have to compromise, you have to give ground.

If you've got people down here talking about a new Ireland and what that's going to look like... you know, people down here don't have to give up anything, but if they want that, they're going to have to start thinking about maybe making some compromises in some things that people up the road were forced to do....

You can't physically unite the island and have nearly a million Unionists up the road joining this country without changing some furniture to make those people feel welcome.

I think you could probably start with not singing, 'Oooh ah, up the 'RA' in the changing rooms maybe...

I know it is (harmless), but, you know, what's funny about it is that if you were asked to rejoin the Commonwealth and you saw the Northern Ireland Ladies' Team up there singing they're up to their neck in Fenian blood and singing the Sash, you'd sit there and think to yourself, 'Jeez, I'm not sure about that'.

What I always say is, it's a lot easier to sing a rebel song about a united Ireland than not sing it to have it...

You can't ask people to come and join the country and not actually say, 'You're part of the country'. There's nobody up the road needs conversion therapy. They know they're British, the way that when I was growing up I knew I was Irish.

If there's going to be a united Ireland, that Ireland is going to look different.


It is difficult to disagree with anything said by Patrick Kielty here.


Compromises would have to be made on both sides, something that is not necessarily always acknowledged in this part of the world.

He received plenty of praise for the manner in which he articulated such a sensitive and nuanced issue.

Conversations such as this one are likely to become all the more common in the years ahead.

Patrick Kielty is certainly someone that should be a prominent voice on the matter.

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