Tuesday 23 October 2018

The Irish stand on the North encourages Sinn Fein to say No

Simon Coveney is resisting calls for a border poll, but it's all a problem of his own making, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Tanaiste Simon Coveney. Photo: PA
Tanaiste Simon Coveney. Photo: PA

Eilis O'Hanlon

The referendum's over, and there won't be another one for, oh, months. Politically, that means everything's back to normal for the time being. No bad thing.

When it comes to Northern Ireland, however, normality is seriously over-rated. Normality just means more stand-offs between Sinn Fein and the DUP requiring round-the- clock attention by the two governments. The counting was barely over in the abortion referendum before the Minister for Foreign Affairs was facing renewed demands for a border poll to decide Northern Ireland's constitutional future.

Simon Coveney insisted that the time is not right for such a vote and that it would simply fuel further polarisation at a time when the Government is trying to find "sensible" solutions to the Brexit puzzle. "Calls from some quarters for a border poll now or in the near future," he told a seminar of senior civil servants in Dublin, "are not wise and not welcome."

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss