A REFERENDUM ON the position of Northern Ireland as part of the UK is inevitable, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said.
Adams today launched a stinging attack on the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson, who this week dismissed the possibility of holding a ‘border poll’ on the status of the region.
Branding Paterson a “political overlord” imposed on Ireland, Adams insisted that he “should not presume to arrogantly dictate to people here how we will conduct our affairs.” He added:
The political landscape in the North has been transformed in recent years and there is growing support for a united Ireland. A border poll is inevitable. Mr Patterson knows this.
Earlier this week, Paterson confirmed in the UK House of Commons that he had no intention of calling a border poll. According to UTV, he cited the results of a Queen’s University survey that showed 82.6 per cent of people in the North want to remain in the UK.
Speaking at a Sinn Féin conference in Derry, Gerry Adams today insisted that his vision of a united Ireland was one open to unionist views. He said it would come when “the people of our island have formed a cordial union of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter”.
Adams added that at present, unionists are “isolated” in Britain where they make up just two per cent of the population. “In a united Ireland unionists would make up 20 per cent of the population and be able to exercise real authority, power and influence,” he said.