"Opinion poll after opinion poll indicates that support for a united Ireland is falling rather than rising among small-n nationalism. There is no appetite south of the border for unity anytime soon. Yes, Sinn Fein may be able to nibble at the heels of unionism/loyalism on some issues, but the Union itself looks stronger than ever. Put bluntly, a united Ireland looks no more likely now than it did in August 1994, or July 1997, or April 1998, or March 2007.
All of which explains why those dissenting from the Adams analysis are growing in number and now seem determined to make the case for a return to the tactics of the ‘armed struggle.’ And it poses a very real problem for Sinn Fein, who are not capable of pointing to much in the way of progress and so have to revert to a strategy which is best summed up as a ‘greatest hits tour’ in which martyrs, prison escapes, key events and ‘victories’ have to be celebrated on an almost weekly basis. And if it annoys the hell out of the unionists, then so much the better."