Irish republicans are calling for the reunification of Ireland after Britain voted to leave the European Union.
The UK’s decision means that a new era of border controls are likely to emerge between the two countries, despite Northern Ireland voting Remain by 56 per cent.
Northern Ireland has the only land frontier between the United Kingdom and the rest of the EU.
It was marked by military checkpoints until a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of sectarian violence.
Within minutes of the referendum outcome becoming apparent, Northern Ireland’s largest Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, said the result intensified the case for a vote on whether Northern Ireland should leave the United Kingdom.
But, Stormont’s First Minister has insisted Northern Ireland’s place in the Brexiting UK is safe.
Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein leader, believes Irish people should be given a chance to vote on their future, saying there was a ‘democratic imperative’ to allow people to vote on reunification.
He said: ‘If Britain votes to leave the European Union then that could have huge implications for the entire island of Ireland and, given all the predictions, would run counter to the democratic wishes of the Irish people.’
Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney said in a statement: ‘This outcome tonight dramatically changes the political landscape here in the north of Ireland and we will be intensifying our case for the calling of a border poll.