Bertie: "will there be a united Ireland?"

The Today programme asked Mr Ahern [mp3] the big one this morning: “Prime Minister, do you think there will be a united Ireland in your lifetime?”. Leaving aside the fact that they failed to address him as Taoiseach, here is his unedited answer…

I, I hope we, we can move to a situation where the co-operation, ahh, on this island, on things that make sense to co-operate on, like we’re doing at the moment on tourism, on matters of trade, on things like electricity, and, on health issues, we should continue to try to build up our confidence over that period of time. And then, ahh, in another time, people might, on the basis of consent, see that a united Ireland is the right thing to do. It’s not going to happen in the short term and I don’t think it’ll happen in my political lifetime.

The interview is available as part of the BBC’s podcasting trials.

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated. 

215 thoughts on “Bertie: "will there be a united Ireland?"”

  1. OMG!!!

    I realise this discuassion has ended….but I for one DO NOT WANT my COUNTRY joined in a united Ireland to the UK province north of the Irish border.

    It would cost too damn much for the ROI and makes absolutely no sense as we are all part of the EU.

    The DUP have the right idea….partnership only in economic relations…but NEVER political integration…NEVER!!!!

  2. Just come across this blog. Fascinating. I note, though, that it is all in English. Jolly good of the pro Irish `Irish is our language’ to use it. Indeed, keep on using it if you want to see a united Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement acceded to Sinn Fein’s requiest to promote Irish thus ensuring that Unionists will resist cultural imperialism by the Irish and, when in the years ahead, a vote might be in point and it is clear that it is not Catholicism that is being imposed but an alien culture (to the English) Unionism will be able to resist – and with the support of the English.

  3. Sports the key, everyone would vote for UI if there was a Premiership place for an Irish club , the Commonwealth games and the Open golf on the table

  4. Sports the key, everyone would vote for UI if there was a Premiership place for an Irish club , the Commonwealth games and the Open golf on the table

  5. Sports the key, everyone would vote for UI if there was a Premiership place for an Irish club , the Commonwealth games and the Open golf on the table

  6. Sports the key, everyone would vote for UI if there was a Premiership place for an Irish club , the Commonwealth games and the Open golf on the table

  7. Tony,

    ‘The Good Friday Agreement acceded to Sinn Fein’s requiest to promote Irish thus ensuring that Unionists will resist cultural imperialism by the Irish and, when in the years ahead, a vote might be in point and it is clear that it is not Catholicism that is being imposed but an alien culture (to the English)’

    Gather around Tony and his like. Irish is to be promoted and not enforced. No-one will be forced to speak it. Seems to me you find this sort of promotion offensive, would you not feel some kinship with the Gaelic-speaking Irish who had English ‘promoted’ upon them?

    Irish speaking is indeed an alien culture to the English but as its not being promoted in England you’ve nothing to fear Tony. Its there for anyone in Ireland who wants to use or learn it. Tony, you and your English neighbours will be safe from this cultural imperialism. One day you may even get a whiff of irony, a cairde, my friend.

  8. PHILIP:

    I think you’re on to something there old man.

    Cladycowboy:

    Pls ignore Tony – he is no more representative of the British side than Ringo is of the Irish side.

  9. Philip,
    the majority of Dubliners don’t want a Premiership club, which is where it would have to be, because it would be a nightmare having thousands of drunken English football fans every second weekend.

    Much more fun travelling over there to get drunk, and that’s the truth.

    On the Commonwealth Games, we really don’t care not out of any anti-Britishness but because when we had our membership terminated by the British over 5 decades ago, the world kept turning and nobody has been able to tell us why we should go back.

    Nobody is capable of offering a coherent argument as to why Ireland should join the Commonwealth even five decades on. You think they would have come up with something by now.

    The unionists here get in a huff if you ask, and start going on about how you don’t understand them. But apparently that’s my fault so back on with the hair shirt….

    Golf, you may be on to something for the upper echelons..

  10. What hope for re unification of our land when diarmuid and the free staters like him use any excuse to prevent it

  11. PHILIP:

    I think you’re on to something there old man.

    Cladycowboy:

    Pls ignore Tony – he is no more representative of the British side than Ringo is of the Irish side.

  12. Philip,
    the majority of Dubliners don’t want a Premiership club, which is where it would have to be, because it would be a nightmare having thousands of drunken English football fans every second weekend.

    Much more fun travelling over there to get drunk, and that’s the truth.

    On the Commonwealth Games, we really don’t care not out of any anti-Britishness but because when we had our membership terminated by the British over 5 decades ago, the world kept turning and nobody has been able to tell us why we should go back.

    Nobody is capable of offering a coherent argument as to why Ireland should join the Commonwealth even five decades on. You think they would have come up with something by now.

    The unionists here get in a huff if you ask, and start going on about how you don’t understand them. But apparently that’s my fault so back on with the hair shirt….

    Golf, you may be on to something for the upper echelons..

  13. sup yo! well im a nothern nationalist, please note NATIONALIST. Despite SF’s latest statements, whoops ive made a little faus pas, sorry, the IRA’s latest statement im still not gonna vote for them. I come from a small village in the north of antrim, some interesting set-ups that the news crews somehow knew about!

    neways, my ‘unionist’ friends always said to me when we had this discussion. ‘well its inevitable isnt it?’ i could never understand why they said that, thus my answer was a resounding ‘NO?’

    But now im convinced, if we gradually develope all-ireland bodies for our mutual benifit the eventually it will just happen.

    right?

  14. “Alan/OC

    My answer to your question is, Yes, the Agreement ends with the Yes vote on unification by the citizens of NI.

    The second part of this is wrong. The Agreement requires two referendums, in NI and RoI, for unification.

    Posted by: fair_deal at July 29, 2005 04:34 PM”

    fair-deal refers to the Agreement * shock *

    The very agreement his party says is dead

Comments are closed.