Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Bertie Ahern: A united Ireland is a possibility within a decade
15 February 2020, 14:28 | Updated: 15 February 2020, 17:20
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has told Matt Frei the unification of Ireland is a possibility within the next decade.
Bertie Ahern said the issue of unifying Ireland is becoming more of a focus after Brexit brought it centre stage.
The former Taoiseach told LBC a number of factors need to come into play before the unification can happen successfully.
"The institutions in Northern Ireland that have recently been re-set up need to run for a sustained period to show they can work together across parties and across the various religious divides," he said.
"The proprietary work needs to be done, and it has never been done, on what it would like, how would you bring the police together, how would you handle the army, how would handle the criminal justice system."
Ahern said a vote on the issue would fail if it was held today and the proper groundwork needs to be carried out before the poll can be held.
Asked by Matt Frei if he believed he would see the unification of Ireland in his lifetime, Ahern said "if the proprietary work is done, if we can hand out the hand of friendship to unionists and loyalists, in a number of years, even Sinn Féin accept it's a five year project, I think somewhere in this decade, I think more towards the end of the decade, I think it's a possibility."