June 17, 2011

Support wanes for Irish reunification

by Jan Harris

The number of Catholics who want Northern Ireland to be reunited with the Republic is slipping, according to the latest figures.

Four years ago nearly of quarter of people in Northern Ireland favoured reunification, but this figure has fallen to just 16 per cent, according to the 2010 Northern Ireland Life and Times survey.

The remaining 73 per cent want to stay in the United Kingdom, either under the current devolved arrangements or under direct rule from Westminster.

The poll shows that 33 per cent of Catholics now favour reunification, compared with 47 per cent in 2007, while 52 per cent want to remain within the UK, compared with 39 per cent in 2007.

Ninety per cent of Protestants want to remain part of the United Kingdom, with just four per cent favouring a united Ireland.

The result of the survey was met with scepticism by Sinn Féin which has called for a referendum on Irish unity.

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