Northern Ireland news

Archbishop Eamon Martin gives backing to border poll

Archbishop Eamon Martin has said he would back a border poll

THE leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has said he would back a border poll.

Archbishop Eamon Martin has also joined the growing chorus of those who believe planning for a future referendum on Irish unity should begin in earnest.

Last month, 12,000 Ulster Gaels signed a letter addressed to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin urging him to start preparing for a border poll and establish a citizens' assembly examining the options for unity.

Archbishop Martin said he would like to see a united Ireland, adding that "questions of identity and belonging are alive an well".

"I would like to see a border poll. I think it would be pointless to have a border poll like Brexit, where nobody really knew what it was they were voting for when they had it," he said.

The all-Ireland primate said political leaders throughout the island need to “open up questions of identity and belonging and to honestly face them”.

He told the Sunday Independent there are “a whole bunch of new people living in this island now who have other cultures, other identities and other senses of belonging”.

“It is up to all of us who believe in a united Ireland to be able to present to everyone as to why political unity on this island, of whatever nature, would be, will be more prosperous, more welcoming, more peaceful, more diverse, and more accommodating than our current arrangement is,” he said.

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