“The time has come to re-think ‘Northern Ireland'”, Seán Golden (CIDOB, Spain)

Sinn Féin was the winner in votes and seats at the local elections held on 18 May 2023 in Northern Ireland. But, as important as the fact that Catholics have become the majority population, is the spectacular growth of a representation that is neither Nationalist nor Unionist, reflected in the rise of the Alliance Party. The Good Friday Agreement requires that the First Minister and Deputy First Minister be named by the most-voted Unionist and Nationalist parties. It does not envisage the possibility that the first or second most-voted party be “other”. Geography, demography, and the economy increasingly reinforce the tendency to rethink the status of the “shared island” of Ireland.

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