The Irish Independent has reported that increased demand for Irish passports in the North has resulted in 400,000 passports being approved since the Good Friday Agreement.
The Good Friday Agreement recognises the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both as they may so choose, and accordingly confirms their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship.
The number of passport applications from people born in Northern Ireland rose by over 20% in 2007 to 60,000; since Irish passports last for 10 years, this represents a number of at least 600,000 people in the north who identify themselves as Irish. Since children often travel on their parents' passport, and since not every person has a passport, the figures show that a very significant proportion of the population in the north identifies itself as Irish – probably close to half, and rising. More bad news for unionism!