2023 was a year of significant change. The local government election in May was seismic and historic.
For the first time in any northern election, parties and candidates with a pro united Ireland position gained more votes than parties and candidates with a pro United Kingdom position.
As well as May’s local government election result, in the north there are now:
* More pro united Ireland MLAs than pro United Kingdom MLAs in the assembly
* And more pro united Ireland MPs than pro United Kingdom MPs elected to Westminster
It is an electoral trajectory that looks set to continue and in a short number of years, the gap is likely to grow to the extent that a border poll will be very difficult to deny.
With opinion polls and surveys proving contradictory and the British Government refusing to outline their understanding of the criteria under which a border poll would be called, elections are currently the only credible method to measure public opinion.
However it is unlikely there will be substantial progress on the matter until a Government in Dublin decides that it will take the required steps to plan and prepare effectively in advance of a referendum being held.
If the current or future Irish Government fails to plan for a referendum that now appears inevitable, it is doing a disservice to the people of the entire island, regardless of their background, identity or nationality.
In the first quarter of 2024, Ireland’s Future will publish a significant paper detailing options and suggestions for the period from 2024 until 2030, the year many believe a border poll is most likely to be held. We have been consulting with political parties and other stakeholders in advance of publishing this important document.
On Saturday 15 June 2024 Ireland’s Future will host its largest event to date. The event in the SSE Arena in Belfast will be an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to gather, listen and participate in a conversation that is progressing at a steady pace. We would particularly welcome our British and unionist friends and neighbours to attend the event in the SSE Arena.
We would like to thank everyone in Ireland who has supported Ireland’s Future over the past year and we look forward to your continuing support in the coming years.
We would also like to thank those in Britain, Europe, USA and many others from around the world who have supported and assisted us. We appreciate your dedication and support.
We have much work to do in the time ahead and we will continue to work diligently to ensure a border poll and a new, united Ireland are front and centre of political and societal agendas in the months and years ahead.
Go raibh maith agaibh
Senator Frances Black
Chair Ireland’s Future