Tánaiste believes big winners in the Northern Ireland election were the Alliance Party

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says he believes the big winners in the Northern Ireland election were the Alliance Party.

Speaking at a Fine Gael conference on agriculture and rural development in County Offaly, the Fine Gael leader described Sinn Féin’s election performance as significant.

Sinn Fein became the largest party in the Northern Assembly for the first time. claiming 27 seats, pushing the Democratic Unionist Party into second place.

However Mr Varadkar told reporters there’s a growing middle ground of people who don’t want to be defined by religion or ethnic identity, and he’s not convinced we are closer to a border poll on a united Ireland.

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill, now set to to become Northern Ireland’s First Minister, called for a healthy conversation about unification on the island of Ireland.

“Those of us that are for unification, we’ll make that case, I encourage those that actually don’t have that perspective, at this moment in time to also enter into the conversation. Let’s have a healthy debate about what our future looks like, something much better for each and every one of us, where we all have a valued place in our society. So I really encourage that conversation we’ve made, and ask of the Irish government, consistently, but they must now create the conditions for a conversation around constitutional change.”


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