“For me to refuse to talk about these things when I’m asked a straight question almost suggests I’m ashamed to be a nationalist – and I’m not”

The Irish News Political Correspondent, John Manley has a really interesting interview with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney which outlines his views on a border poll and a United Ireland.

In the interview he says;

“I would like to see a united Ireland in my lifetime – if possible, in my political lifetime,”

Manley does not that Coveney was disappointed that his evidence to the Good Friday Agreement committee was focused mainly on his comments in this area. But he went on to say;

“I was asked question which was not in the context of a Brexit discussion and people have introduced this into the Brexit discussion, which is unhelpful.”

“For me to refuse to talk about these things when I’m asked a straight question almost suggests I’m ashamed to be a nationalist – and I’m not.

“Just like no-one should be ashamed to be a unionist either.”

The Minister does not believe that now is the time for a border poll but does think the context for one needs to be very different from today, he does highlight that the Irish government needs to reach out to Unionist communities in order to address fears.

You can read the full interview in today’s Irish News or on the website here. 

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs

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