Sunday 17 December 2017

North and South are happy living separate lives

Miriam O'Callaghan and Stephen Nolan did the State some service with their joint broadcast

Shining a light on our differences: Miriam O'Callaghan and BBC Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan
Shining a light on our differences: Miriam O'Callaghan and BBC Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan
Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty and party leader, Gerry Adams, bang on about a united Ireland like men in a lift spreading good news about Jesus

Eilis O'Hanlon

The report by Northern Editor Tommie Gorman on Thursday's Morning Ireland was uploaded to the RTE website later that morning with a confident caption: "Cross-border poll shows support for united Ireland."

Really? As Gorman himself acknowledged when analysing the poll, jointly commissioned by RTE and BBC Northern Ireland as part of a link-up between Prime Time and Nolan Live the night before, what the figures actually show is that "the appetite just doesn't exist" for a united Ireland.

The number of people who want it in the "short to medium term" is a mere one in three in the Republic, rising to two in three when the prospect is put back to some indeterminate point "in their lifetime" - and even that drops again to a third when told they may have to pay for it.

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