Because it worked so well for the Scots:
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Scotland’s “inspiring” referendum on independence would accelerate a vote to unite Ireland, a prospect quickly dismissed by Unionists who share power in Northern Ireland.
Scotland spurned independence in a historic vote that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart but an electrifying campaign has emboldened separatist movements across Europe from Catalonia to Flanders.
Predominantly Catholic Nationalists in Northern Ireland, who remained part of United Kingdom in a northern province dominated by Protestants after the Irish state secured independence from Britain in 1921, maintained a studied silence in recent weeks.
Although the pro-British Protestants still make up a majority of the Northern Irish population, Nationalist leader Adams intensified his push for a border poll – which is allowed no more than once every seven years under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal.
Sinn Fein has argued that under the terms of the agreement, there is a right to a referendum and that there should be a debate on the issue. “The campaign in Scotland will accelerate that entire process,” Adams told Irish national broadcaster RTE.
The difference between Ireland and Scotland is that the debate over Scottish independence was based on political and economic power. In Ireland, it is largely based on religion. It’s not as if that’s ever been an issue in national politics before, has it?