Northern Ireland news

TD claims 'we can't talk about a united Ireland in Dáil' after question disallowed

The question was disallowed by the Dáil's speaker 
Mairead Holland

A Sinn Féin TD's question about the business challenges a united Ireland would bring has been disallowed by the Dáil's speaker.

Maurice Quinlivan, who represents Limerick, had tabled the question but was informed by the speaker that it was "hypothetical in nature and out of order".

The TD expressed his frustration at the refusal, tweeting "so now we can’t even talk about a United Ireland in Dáil".

He said it proved a point made by Irish News columnist Brian Feeney that one of the most important messages from Belfast's Beyond Brexit conference was “the complete disconnect of the Irish Government from the reality of northern nationalism”.

Mr Quinlivan had wanted to ask the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys "if consideration will be given to establishing a working group ....to explore the opportunities and challenges a united Ireland will bring to Irish businesses".

He had also asked her to make a statement on the matter.

In his column published on Wednesday, Mr Feeney described Saturday’s Beyond Brexit conference as not only the biggest political event in the north this century but the biggest political event for more than a generation.

He said there were two important messages to take away from the event.

"The first is the complete disconnect of the Irish government from the reality of northern nationalism and secondly, the complete disenchantment of nationalists with a Stormont assembly, or as Allison Morris of this parish put it in December, ‘Nationalists are so over Stormont, all the focus now is on a New Ireland’."

Turning to the idea of a border poll, he added: "The sad truth is that you’re not allowed to suggest a border poll, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, because the Irish government would have a collective nervous breakdown."

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