This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15 °C Monday 10 August, 2020

Micheál Martin hopes Brexit will lead to a vote on a reunited Ireland

It’s not the right time yet though, he says.

Micheal Martin at his party's Ard Fheis in January.
Micheal Martin at his party's Ard Fheis in January.
Image: Sam Boal/

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin says that he hopes the UK’s Brexit vote will eventually lead to a referendum on a united Ireland.

Delivering the John Hume lecture at the MacGill summer school in Donegal, Martin says that the Brexit vote is a “defining moment in Northern politics”.

A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

“It may very well be that the decision of Northern Ireland to oppose the English-driven anti-EU UK majority is a defining moment in Northern politics,” Martin said.

The Remain vote may show people the need to rethink current arrangements.  I hope it moves us towards majority support for unification, and if it does we should trigger a reunification referendum.

“However, at this moment the only evidence we have is that the majority of people in Northern Ireland want to maintain open borders and a single market with this jurisdiction, and beyond that with the rest of Europe,” he added.

The Fianna Fáil leader also said he welcomed the government’s promotion of an “all-island approach to Brexit” before adding that any discussions must be inclusive.

Martin also took aim at the media and the government for a “hands-off detachment” on Northern Ireland issues.

“It is a sad reality that our government and our media have tended to ignore Northern Ireland except when there is a crisis,” he said.

Martin’s comments come as his party overtook Fine Gael as the most popular party in the country, according to a poll in the Sunday Business Post.

The poll put Fianna Fáil at a support level of 29% compared to 26% for Fine Gael.

Read: Enda Kenny wants an open border between the Republic and Northern Ireland >

Read: ‘It’s too early and it’s too long’: TDs set to take three months’ holidays >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

Read next: