One in four Irish TDs and Senators do not want Irish tricolour to change if United Ireland is achieved
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One in four Irish TDs and Senators do not want Irish tricolour to change if United Ireland is achieved

A QUARTER of TDs and Senators would be unwilling to change the Irish flag or the Irish national anthem as part of efforts to achieve a United Ireland.

According to a survey ran by The Irish Sun, 25.4% of 63 Oireachtas members said they were opposed to any changes, while 30.2% said they wanted to retain both the flag and the national anthem but were open to debate the notion.

Meanwhile the remaining 44.4% of members said they were neither in favour nor opposed to the idea.

Independent TD Michael McNamara even suggested that the new national song could be a rendition of 'Danny Boy'.

Each of the members who responded said that they wanted to see a United Ireland, and were asked what date they would choose to hold a border poll.

33.3% said they wanted to have one within the next five years, 11.1% went for between five and 10 years, while 55.6% of respondents declined to offer a date.

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It must be said though that the majority of those taking part in the survey were members of Sinn Féin (28.6%), who are most openly in favour of a border poll.

Just 17.5% of respondents were Fine Gael members while just 15.9% were Fianna Fáil members.

Respondents were also asked if they wanted to rejoin the Commonwealth. 57.1% said no, and just 12.7% said yes. The rest (30.2%) said they did not oppose the idea but failed to specify which option they'd choose.

On the subject of the Irish flag, Senator Barry Ward said: "I think the tricolour has been regrettably hijacked by one tradition, notwithstanding that it represents what must be at the heart of a reunified Ireland — peace between the two traditions."

Discussing a national tune, he said "any anthem needs to be inclusive and acceptable to all sides" citing the use of Ireland's Call by the Irish rugby team as an example of such a compromise.