Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern made his own contribution the debate on Irish unity with a speech to the SDLP this week:
For Fianna Fáil, the democratic political goal of a united Ireland is at the heart of our republican perspective. Our project did not end in 1923.
Our project held, and still holds that unity by armed force would – at best – transfer Nationalist isolation and alienation onto unionists. At worst it would threaten the lives of tens of thousands of fellow Irish men and women.
We believe Connolly was right when he said that “Ireland without her people means nothing to me”.
On that basis, in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement we have secured the template for Unity.