Leo Varadkar. RollingNews.ie photo.

Varadkar to Address Unity Conference

Former taoiseach Leo Varadkar is set to address a major conference in Belfast this weekend on planning for Irish unity.

Mr. Varadkar will take part in the "Ireland’s Future: Pathway to Change" conference at the SSE Arena on Saturday, June 15.

Earlier this year Mr. Varadkar resigned as taoiseach citing "personal and political" reasons.

Other speakers during the day include Professor Brendan O’Leary, trade union leader Mick Lynch, GAA President Jarlath Burns, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald, and the SDLP’s Claire Hanna.

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Several discussions will take place during the day including "A Protestant Perspective" featuring John Alderdice, Claire Mitchell, Wallace Thompson and David Adams. Other discussions will focus on health, the labour movement and the arts, as well as several political panels with politicians from across the island. This is the latest Ireland’s Future event. The group has been drawing thousands to its conferences in recent years.

Confirming his attendance Varadkar told the Irish News: “There is no doubt that inclusive constitutional conversations are happening in a new way on this island.

“Safe, constructive, shared discussions will be pivotal to building our future.

“I have said before that there could be a united Ireland in my lifetime and participating in events such as this Ireland’s Future conference is very important in that regard.

“I look forward to not only speaking at the event but also listening to what others have to say.”

Stated Ireland's Future in advance of the conference: “We are now in new territory. We are firmly in border poll territory. It is imperative that we all engage in the conversation and ensure that society is ready for the change that our island will soon undergo.”