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Dr Ciara Kelly: 'We need to think hard about the realities of a united Ireland'

How much would we pay for a united Ireland? It costs the UK around £10bn a year for the upkeep of NI at present, writes Dr Ciara Kelly

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Britain’s Chancellor Sajid Javid welcomed Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to Downing Street this week. Photo: Reuters

Britain’s Chancellor Sajid Javid welcomed Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to Downing Street this week. Photo: Reuters

Britain’s Chancellor Sajid Javid welcomed Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to Downing Street this week. Photo: Reuters

I was born in the 1970s. I grew up in a time when Northern Ireland dominated our news bulletins. Bombs, punishment beatings, knee-cappings and murders were an almost daily headline. A kind of fear convulsed all of us down here when we thought about it. The hunger strikes. The almost palpable anger when NI politicians spoke. Indeed, Sinn Fein politicians weren't allowed to speak at all. We read their words on a screen. Listening to them speak was forbidden.

It was considered too dangerous for our ears. I remember my parents telling me why we never went there - "It's not safe." I remember the line: "They have more in common with each other than with anyone else."


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