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    • Unfortunately, yes. Although I would much rather live in a world where "That bozo? A President? Come on, no way." is the correct response. Alas, we're not there.

    • I guess what I am saying is that this is a much longer conflict than most people realize. And once a battle is almost 1,000 years old, it is going to be problematic to say the least. Since the Good Friday Agreement - there have been attempts at peace - not always successful all the time (Summer, often known as "Marching Season" can be difficult to say the least) but there have been more better days.

      To introduce the probability of a united Ireland now would be to risk a return to a much more constant violence, and that needs to be avoided at all costs.

    • If the UK does give it back I suspect it would take decades. I think giving Hong Kong back took a few decades to happen. Who knows, maybe with Sinn Fein getting such a presence in government then discussion may at least start within Ireland.

      @DangerDave s article on tensions resulting in violence would be my main concern. While there is more or less peace between the factions at present there are many who would fiercely defend their 'right' to be part of England and won't be part of the Republic. If those people decide to it could start 'the troubles' all over again.

      An example of this, admittedly a few years ago now.
      When I lived in Dublin my also Kiwi flatmate was a direct to consumer travelling salesman for gourmet chicken products. One day in order to try and increase his sales we traveled up to Belfast in Northern Ireland where his company didn't have a presence, so in theory was an untapped market. Dublin to Belfast is not much more than an hours drive, but is a separate country for most intents and purposes.

      In the first suburb we came to he went to the first house and knocked. The lady of the house opened the door just a crack and advised us to turn around and leave the suburb immediately and that even if she was interested in his products she couldn't be seen to be buying them, and even our knocking at her door would raise enough questions. Going into any other suburb on that side of town was in her opinion was also a risk to our safety.

      This was all because we were driving a vehicle with a Republic of Ireland registration plate.

    • The good Friday agreement put a mechanism in place where the people of Northern Ireland can decide if they'd like to unify with the Republic of Ireland, so its not really up to the UK or Irish government; which is great, the people can decide for themselves.