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Taoiseach says economy and emotions should be prioritised over a United Ireland

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first_imgENDA KENNY BELIEVES there are a number of issues that need to be prioritised before advanced discussions on a United Ireland are initiated.Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, the Taoiseach reiterated his belief that there would not be a United Ireland by 2016.His remarks came following a Leaders’ Question from Gerry Adams who urged the government to begin a dialogue about the future with those who want a United Ireland, as well as those who do not.Welcoming the Taoiseach’s comments about unification in Cleveland last week, the Sinn Féin president asked for the coalition to consider the idea of a border poll and green paper for a United Ireland.“Our priority has to be rectify our own public finances,” said Kenny, adding that it is necessary for the Republic of Ireland to emerge from its bailout programme before individual decisions can be made.Pushed further on the issue by Adams who mentioned the events in Scotland and the opportunity afforded to it by the 2014 referendum on independence, Kenny said, “I don’t want to go that far now.”“There is a great well of emotion that needs to be released by ordinary people who lost loved ones on both sides of the conflict… It is not the time to have a border poll or a green paper – not when I see the depth and well of emotion that needs to be released so a new understanding about the future [can be realised] “As far as Northern Ireland is concerned, we need to provide people who have never had the chance to speak their mind about what happened in their families on either side of the conflict. We owe them that at least.”He also told the Dáil that he was “very struck” by the recent presentation made by the families of the 10 victims and sole survivor of the Kingsmills massacre and that he wants to meet with a group from Fermanagh following a request from Arlene Foster, as well as the Ballymurphy families.Kenny told Adams that the Constitutional Convention will provide an arena for politicians to reflect on the question of an United Ireland.Adams expressed his disappointment at the Taoiseach’s refusal to support a border poll.“Partition has failed the people of this island,” he said, calling it “uneconomic, unjust and inefficient.”“There is an onus on the Irish government to prepare a strategy, a plan, in co-operation with others, and including a Green Paper on Irish unity, that has the Irish government take the lead on the issue of Irish unity, including the setting of a date for a border poll.”More: Republic and Northern Ireland will eventually be reunited, predicts Enda Kenny>Related: Referendum on united Ireland ‘inevitable’ – Adams>last_img read more

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