Why, however, does he see this so negatively? He appears to overlook the fact that the unity of Ireland is itself a solution, albeit one that does not currently have everyone's support. In the world of realpolitik, one never finds solutions to conflict that have universal support. I would suspect, however, that there is enough support for a united Ireland within Ireland itself, as well as this side of the Irish Sea (and most opinion polls in Britain favour a withdrawal from Ireland), to make Irish unity an option that is worthy of serious consideration.
Dr O'Brien fears that a Bosnia- type situation would follow a British withdrawal. With the example of India in mind, bloodshed might indeed be the outcome of premature withdrawal. Any transfer of power must be well planned and gradual (there may well be an interim period of joint sovereignty). Since the status quo is not bringing us any nearer peace, why close our minds to the principle of unity?
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