Speaking in Drogheda on Friday 24th June, Gerry Adams dismissed last week’s Life and Times poll which claimed that only 16% of the population of the North and 33% of Catholics favour a united Ireland.
The Sinn Féin president said: “While this poll caused jubilation in some unionist circles most nationalists and republicans took a much more relaxed attitude.
“The only opinion poll that matters is the one in which people put their mark on a ballot paper. Everything else is just so much speculation.
“The fact is, that since the 1980s, the combined unionist vote in the north has declined from around 60% to 50% in elections. The combined nationalist vote in the Assembly election in May was 41.4%.
“The Life and Times survey is clearly at odds with what people actually do when presented with the opportunity to vote. And this is the key. Opinion polls are useful guides. But that is all they are. Often they get it wrong,” he said.
“According to last week’s poll Sinn Féin has 11% of the vote. But in May Sinn Féin took almost 27% of the vote! The Good Friday Agreement provides for a legislative road to Irish unity. There is a constitutional mechanism in place to end the union and partition.
“Irish unity will not be won through opinion polls. It will be achieved by persuading citizens to vote in a referendum for that option and to do so in a way which ensures maximum support and political stability. We can do this.”