Over the last 10 days the Taoiseach has spoken numerous times on the issue of a future referendum on a united Ireland and the National Risk Assessment published by his Department this week for the first time ever addressed the issue. However, the Taoiseach needs to be clear and outline the Government position on any future referendum on a united Ireland.
Senator Daly, who compiled the first ever report on uniting Ireland by a Dáil or Senate Committee today said “The issue of a future referendum on a united Ireland, has clearly become more relevant in recent months and weeks, and it is good to see the Taoiseach is now looking at this issue, however he needs to be clear. Brexit has shown us, referendums should never be held without proper preparation and clarity. I have been calling on the Government to start the preparation work now for a possible referendum, this work will take years and should include all elements of this island.
- Speaking in Belfast yesterday the Taoiseach is quoted as saying in reference to a referendum on Irish unity “ There is a chance it would be defeated”
- Recently at the MacGill summer school saying “I do think more and more people certainly in the event of no deal, more and more people in Northern Ireland will come to question the union,”.
- In the National Risk Assessment published this week by the Taoiseach and in previous Parliamentary replies by the Taosieach, he has stated “a border poll would not be regarded as a risk”.
- In the National Risk Assessment also the impact of Brexit bringing a renewed fear of a return to violence due to increase focus on a border poll “A no deal Brexit also has the potential to become a focus for increased loyalist para-military recruitment and activity, including in response to dissident republican paramilitary actions and an increased public focus on a border poll.”
- The National Risk Assessment by the Taoiseach said a referendum should be planned for “The Government has always recognised the need for advance preparations for referenda and this would be of particular importance in the case of a border poll given the potential impact on all the people of the island of Ireland. The lessons of the UK Brexit Referendum are of particular resonance in this.”
- At the Feile festival last night saying after a border poll, a united Ireland would be “different state”
Senator Daly commented “I again call on the Taoiseach to implement the recommendation of the report by the All Party Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement entitled ‘Brexit and the Future of Ireland: Uniting Ireland & Its People in Peace & Prosperity’, one of the 17 recommendations calls for the establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2, this would be the perfect venue to work out many of the serious issues that will face us in advance of a referendum”.