Kevin Meagher: Why a united Ireland is closer than we think

The key elements necessary to justify a vote on the North’s constitutional future are likely to be in place within the next few years

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, senator George Mitchell and British prime minister Tony Blair after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which is a little sketchy on the details of how and when a poll on unity might be called. Picture:

The Northern assembly elections on May 5 will be significant for a number of reasons, not least of which will be the effect the results might have on the North’s constitutional future.

But just how, exactly, would a vote on that future come about? The Good Friday Agreement, the holy text relating to such matters, is a little sketchy.

The secretary of state for Northern Ireland can call a poll if “at any time” it ...