PEOPLE living in the Republic of Ireland are losing confidence in a united island being achieved in the next ten years a new poll has shown.
The survey, conducted for the European Movement Ireland organisation, reveals that just one in four people (24%) in the Republic currently believe there will be a united Ireland within a decade.
The figures mark a drop of seven points on the same survey question when asked last year.
They also show that almost half (45%) of people surveyed in Northern Ireland believe a united Ireland will be possible within a decade.
Commenting on the findings, Noelle O Connell, CEO of European Movement Ireland, said:
“This is our tenth year producing an annual opinion poll on EU issues and the first time we have included Northern Ireland in the findings.
“Since Brexit, the relationship between people in Northern Ireland and the European Union has been uncertain and we think it’s important to measure public sentiment towards the major issues affecting the relationship between the European Union and this island.”
She added: “What’s surprising is the large jump of people in Ireland (ROI) in one year – up from 43% to 58% – who don’t believe there will be a united Ireland in the next ten years.
“This is particularly noteworthy as the responses on this issue remained relatively constant over three years, with about one third of people in Ireland saying they believed there would be a United Ireland in the EU.”
Elsewhere the poll, conducted by Amárach Research, showed a majority (66%) of people in Northern Ireland believe that the North is doing worse since Brexit, while half (51%) of those surveyed in the Republic believe the same.
The findings also reveal that three quarters of people in the North (74%) and more than half of those in the Republic (51%) believe that Northern Ireland should be represented in the European Parliament.
Support for Ireland remaining a member of the EU remains stable across those surveyed in the Republic - with 88% in favour of keeping the status quo.
Finally, when asked whether they felt closest to Europe, Britain or the USA, 65% of people in the Republic said they feel closest to Europe, followed by Great Britain at 12%.
This compares to 60% in Northern Ireland who said they feel closest to Europe, and 30% who said they feel closest to Britain.