Sinn Fein urges Irish government to call unity referendum

Sinn Fein has pressed the Irish government to call a unity referendum, following the results of an exit poll.

Findings from an RTE exit poll suggest there is significant support among Irish voters for a united Ireland.

The island has been divided into two separate jurisdictions since 1921.

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The poll found that 65% of voters polled indicated they would vote in favour of a united Ireland if a referendum was held tomorrow.

It also found that 19% would vote against the proposal, and 15% of respondents said they did not know or refused to answer the question.

Reacting, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill said now is the time for Ireland’s leaders to “prioritise planning for reunification”.

“The issue of Irish unity has taken on a new dynamic because of Brexit, which has again showed the failure of partition and division,” she said.

“Demographics are changing and so too is the political landscape across Ireland.

“All parties that see the value of reunification and hold to the ideal of unity must act to begin a national conversation.

“There is a particular onus on the Irish government to begin to plan for unity, to progress the debate and to publish a green paper for unity.”

Ms O’Neill said Irish Premier Leo Varadkar “cannot ignore these present realities”.

“He should establish an All-Ireland forum to start the process and conversations on our shared constitutional future,” she added.