University of Oxford debating society slammed for hosting debate on Irish reunification 5 years ago

University of Oxford debating society slammed for hosting debate on Irish reunification

Oxford has decided that we're not ready.

Oxford Union, a debating society which bills itself as "the most famous debating society in the world", has come in for some criticism on social media this week.

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On Thursday, the society held a debate with the motion: 'This house believes that Ireland is ready for reunification.'

On the society's website, the debate was explained thusly: "20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, government in Northern Ireland is at a standstill.

"Partisan politics have strengthened, not soothed, sectarian divisions, and a settlement becomes less likely by the day. In this context, the United Kingdom's impending departure from the EU has triggered a renewed focus on that question which has shaped an island's history - has the time come for a united Ireland?"

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Speaking on behalf of Irish reunification were Joan Burton TD, Micheál Martin and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. However, an opposition team made up of students and guest speakers (including former UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, former Justice Minister Claire Sugden, and Irish High Court judge Richard Humphreys) won the day.

After all was said and done and the crowd had their say, it was decided that the motion failed, and that the house did not believe that Ireland is ready for reunification.

Since posting about the result on social media, the society has taken reams of abuse from Irish social media users. The tweet has gathered more than 100 responses.

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