Cathal Mac Coille: Political clumsiness aside, we need to talk about Irish unity

Leo Varadkar’s timing and motives are debatable, but his speech raises a topic that bears discussing without much more delay

The timing of Leo Varadkar’s speech, just as the North’s executive teetered on the brink of collapse, was open to criticism. Picture:

The Tánaiste’s speech on Irish reunification during the opening session of Fine Gael’s virtual ardfheis last Tuesday can be read in ways that appear to contradict each other.

One reading could highlight Leo Varadkar’s belief that the tectonic plates are shifting in the North, that no group can have a veto on Ireland’s future, and that Irish unity will happen in his lifetime.

So far, so nationalist. So republican-sounding, even, that it brought rare unqualified ...