First report on how to achieve peaceful 'United Ireland' to be published today
A potential roadmap for the peaceful unification of Ireland is due to be unveiled later today.
The report is the first committee report on how to achieve a united Ireland and will make 17 recommendations.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly said unification would lead to a €36.5bn increase in GDP for the entire island of Ireland within 8 years.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio One, Senator Daly said there would have to be reassurances to unionists if plans for a united Ireland were to proceed.
"Our job is to represent the people of the whole island of Ireland," he said.
"We can agree on a lot of things. We should fight tooth and nail for all Northern Ireland’s universities and students to have access to EU programs. I don’t think anyone in the unionist community would disagree with that."
He added that a former member of the Ulster Defence Force made contributions to the report, raising concerns over retribution, land ownership and securing a British identity within a united Ireland.
Senator Daly was reminded of a lack of unionist involvement in the New Ireland Forum in the 1980s.
"We need to have reassurances for the unionists. Just because they don’t talk doesn’t mean we can’t represent them," he said.
He said they would fight for special designation status for Northern Ireland, adding it is not a "dead duck".
"There are a lot of areas where special designation status can be achieved. In relation to unionist farmers, we are fighting for them to continue to receive funding and subsidies. If funding goes down in relation to EU subsidies then the peace process is in jeopardy," he said.
He added that they had spoken to experts on German and Korean unification in preparation of the report.
In relation to the establishment of a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland following Brexit, Senator Daly said:
"If there is to be a border it should be between this island and Britain."
He also said that they also considered former US President Barack Obama’s comments at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
"We need to engage now in creating education and job opportunities into these communities," he said.