Sir: As a resident of Northern Ireland from 1979 to 1990, I support everything Bernard Crick says in 'For now, Irish unity is a step too far' (9 June). The Anglo-Irish Agreement was indeed a bungle, so easily avoided simply by listening to people in the province. It is the fear, since the agreement, that unity is on the agenda that has caused the tragic upsurge in Protestant violence. It defeats me how Labour can fail to see that talking about 'consent' to unity to the Unionists is taken as 'walk forward when the man with an Armalite in your back tells you to'.
Unity is out until the Troubles are not only over but forgotten (a long time for many of its victims). The only political progress possible is devolution of power locally in such a way that it is shared between the two communities. This really should be feasible. With all that Professor Crick says about the politicians playing to their own galleries, I think that the Troubles have in an odd way brought the people of Northern Ireland together.