Garry, John, Paul Gillespie, Brendan O’Leary. “What people in the Republic actually think about Irish unification: Preference for a five-to-ten-year timeframe for a vote on a clear model for unity.” The Irish Times. September 23, 2021. (accessed 18 March, 2023).

Thursday 18 May 2023

This article published in an online edition of national newspaper The Irish Times describes a survey of attitudes towards the unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, using a sample population from the Republic. While researchers found that the desire for unification was almost universal in the sample population, they also discovered that short, educational presentations followed by group discussions were successful in altering participants’ opinions about the specifics of how unification may be achieved, for example, the timeline of a referendum vote, or what exactly a united Ireland might look like. The success of educational elements involved in this study raises questions about the power of information-sharing in highly charged political settings. This short study is hopeful outlook on relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic, as while the majority opinion on unification in the Republic is made clear, it is shown that targeted education can lead to a greater flexibility and willingness to cooperate.  

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