Padraig O’Malley’sÂ Perils and Prospects of a United IrelandÂ presents a wide-ranging and unique study of the questions around the future of Northern Irish politics, including the idea of reunification.
O’Malley has forged relationships across the political divide for over half a century and here he attemps to ascertain whether, after decades of interaction – but especially since the B/GFA – the protagonists are any closer to working co-operatively
In this book, O’Malley explores the factors that might lead to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State calling a border referendum and the challenges both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would face. How might that majority for unity, a simple 50 per cent + 1, emerge? What criteria might a Secretary of State draw on to make their judgment call?
Including interviews from ninety-seven political players, academics, political influencers, a cross-section of the political grandees who negotiated the B/GFA and faith leaders between February 2020 and June 2021, O’Malley takes a temperature check of opinions from Northern Ireland with a sampling of opinion in the South.
Interviewees included party leaders Jeffrey Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party, DUP), Doug Beattie (Ulster Unionist Party, UUP), Naomi Long (Alliance), Colum Eastwood (Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP) and Billy Hutchinson (Progressive Unionist Party, PUP), and members of the Ard Comhairle, Matt Carty TD and Chris Hazzard MP.
Focusing on the topics of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit, Unionism, Nationalism, the economics of potential reunification or continued partition, and the broad range of Northern Irish identities, this work encompasses the most up-to-date and considered review of political actions so far. A must-read for those interested in the future of Northern Ireland.
Perils and Prospects of a United IrelandÂ will be published ahead of a major international conference to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement being hosted by Queen’s University Belfast on April 17th and 18th 2023.
PRAISE FORÂ PERILS AND PROSPECTS OF A UNITED IRELAND
‘Few subjects are as vexing and uncertain as the long-term consequences of Brexit and the possibility of a united Ireland, yet Padraig O’Malley has drawn on his decades studying divided societies to produce a clear-eyed, wide-ranging, nonpartisan, elegantly written, up-to-the-minute analysis.Â Perils and ProspectsÂ is an important book – and an urgent one.’Â Patrick Radden Keefe
‘Padraig O’Malley’s new book is a profoundly important exploration of the complexities and conundrums of untying the Gordian knot of Irish partition. I have not seen this depth of non-partisan understanding and explanation from any other analyst or advocate. That is why anyone who wants – or needs – to understand the possible endgame of Irish partition has to get this well-written book and read it carefully.’Â Professor, the Lord Alderdice: First Speaker, Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-2004)