“People’s Referendum” shows support for united Ireland

An unofficial poll in two Ireland/Northern Ireland border communities shows strong support for re-uniting the island, The Irish Times reports.

Not surprisingly, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams welcomed the result, saying “a debate on Irish unity and the type of agreed Ireland people wish to create for the future has now begun.”


Other media outlets such as the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent and BBC ignored the vote organized by the pro-republican United Ireland – You Decide campaign. The 92 percent “Yes” tally among 1,000 or so ballots appears at odds with historical polling on the issue.

That said, it’s interesting to read the post-vote comments on the Facebook page of Protestants for a United Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 provides a mechanism for such a border poll. Some unionists have suggested holding a referendum as a way of calling the bluff of republicans, since another provision requires waiting seven years before allowing a second poll.

Six northeast counties were partitioned as Northern Ireland in 1922 as 26 southern counties achieved partial independence as the Irish Free State. Ireland is now at the beginning of a 10-year stretch of centennial anniversaries that are rekindling that history and debate.