Time for unionists to consider a united Ireland argues UK Unionist Party member Conor Cruise O'Brien.

The former diplomat, Labour Party TD, Senator, academic, writer and historian, who is currently a member of the UK Unionist Party recently completed his memoirs. 

Often controversial, Doctor Cruise O’Brien a long standing opponent of Sinn Féin, argues that unionists might be better served in a united Ireland, rather than risk erosion of their current position to militant republicans,

It may be necessary for unionists to re-examine their connection with the Union consider whether it hasn't now come to represent a danger to their interests.

His views are supported by some Northern Ireland Unionists, he says, who agree that in the case of a united Ireland, Unionists would have to be guaranteed the same rights as they currently enjoy in the UK, and the same voting rights as in the Republic,

They will see themselves being better accommodated and having more clout within the parliament of Ireland than within the parliament of the United Kingdom.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on this day in 1998. The reporter is Donal Kelly.