Jack Quann
Jack Quann

22.07 25 Jan 2021


Share this article


The issue of a border poll has come back under the spotlight, after a poll in a British newspaper found a majority of those surveyed in Northern Ireland supported a referendum.

The poll carried out for Britain's Sunday Times found that 51% of 2,392 people surveyed in the region supported a referendum in the next five years.

Some 44% of people were opposed and 5% had no opinion.

It also found that 47% of Northern Ireland voters would be 'pleased' at a united Ireland, 47% would be 'upset' and 4% were 'not bothered'.

In contrast, a majority of those polled in both England and Scotland said they would be 'not bothered' at such a result.

Henry McKean spoke to Michelle on the Shankill Road in Belfast.

She told him: "There's a lot of trickery going on and I think that there's an agenda for a united Ireland.

"And now that Joe Biden is in in America as well - he's all for a united Ireland, and he's all for that too.

"So that's going to be a difficulty as well for us".

She claimed that nationalists will use the situation to their advantage.

"I know it's real, I know it's not a cover, but I know they're going to use it for their own agenda - they're going to take that, what's real, and then twist it to their own agenda".

On the politicisation of the coronavirus in the region, Michelle claimed nationalists are using the pandemic as leverage.

"My side of the divide just sees it as what it is - it's just COVID and we know how to deal with it.

"But they're turning it political, turning it into 'Oh we can use this to do this and this and this'.

"Where we're just leaving it alone and deal with what's happening, instead of trying to turn it into something different to please them."

"We have nothing that we need an agenda for - we have our country here, so we're happy with that, and we're not needing a united Ireland".

All-island approach

Henry also spoke to loyalist supporters, who disagreed with Sammy Wilson's rejection of an all-island approach to the coronavirus.

The DUP MP earlier told The Pat Kenny Show that travel restrictions between Northern Ireland and Britain would be politically unacceptable.

"I certainly would not accept that we would have travel restrictions between Northern Ireland and GB,” he said. “There shouldn’t be restrictions within our own country", he said.

"I think it is impractical as well – because there is a lot of vital movement which goes across the stretch of water between Northern Ireland and GB.

"Most of our activities are orientated toward GB, whether it is our trading activities, our business activities and a lot of other movements, family movements etc.

"It would not be practical and it would not be proportionate to close down the border between Northern Ireland and GB in terms of how vital the activity and the movements between the two are."

One man told Henry: "You hate to say it but it does make more common sense, keeping the island of Ireland secure.

"I would be loyalist... I understand the point of view, but my personal view is we really do need to keep a lid on the COVID - and the common sense way of doing it in my opinion would be to keep the island of Ireland".

"Politics unfortunately, the orange and green comes into it, [but] some things have to supersede that".

Another man simply said: "COVID's more important, so they should be stop[ing] the spread of COVID - not for any other reason".

And Henry spoke to residents in nationalists areas too.

This woman said: "We're one island, so whatever is going affect up here is going to affect down there - it's not as if you can get away from it."

Another woman said: "I don't think anybody should be travelling at the minute, I think everybody should be staying in their own country.

"I think the only people that should be on flights at the minute is people working maybe within the different health services".

"I think it should be about fighting disease".

'A lot of trickery going on' towards a united Ireland

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: A Union Jack flag is held at a traditional bonfire night on the Shankill Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2002. Picture by: Paul Faith/PA Archive/PA Images

Share this article


Read more about

All-island Approach Border Poll Coronavirus DUP Sammy Wilson Shankill Road The Hard Shoulder United Ireland

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Pat Kenny Show

The Pat Kenny Show

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on