“I don’t see a United Ireland happening in the foreseeable future,” a view that is certainly shared by many if not the entire membership of the Orange Institution.

In fact, it’s something that we shouldn’t even be talking about. Of course, a group of those promoting this agenda and driving the debate, have themselves put much time and effort into the destruction of Northern Ireland and its Unionist people, and are now using Brexit as an excuse to put their failed United Ireland project back centre stage.

Terrorism didn’t work then, neither will their current scaremongering tactics. People are entitled to their aspirations - but are not entitled to terrorise us to achieve them.

There is no doubt in my mind that remaining in the United Kingdom is the best place for Northern Ireland to be. We are and will remain, much better off in that respect.

If a referendum were to be called, I am confident that an overwhelming majority will also see it that way.

Many people from Northern Ireland who may be viewed as Irish nationalists, and believed to be supporters of a United Ireland, recognise the huge economic and social benefits of being part of the United Kingdom, the fifth largest world economy, and would vote accordingly in any border poll.

Members of the Orange Institution have a reputation for being neighbourly, and here in Fermanagh we are no exception to that. Over a period of many years now, we have developed and built some very strong and lasting relationships with people at all levels in the Republic of Ireland and have hosted many cross-border visits, in order that those who previously had little or no experience of who and what we are could come and see for themselves.

The positive feedback speaks for itself. Encouragingly, the wider Institution has also been engaging in this way. A visit by the Irish Premier Leo Varadkar to Orange Headquarters at Schomberg House and visits by Senior Orangemen to events and meetings in the Republic are significant, important, neighbourly and further develop the all Ireland dimension within which the Institution functions. We have always been, and will continue to be, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

We have witnessed the strengthening of both North-South and East-West relationships. Visits by Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family to the Republic of Ireland say to me that Ireland re-joining the Commonwealth would be far more productive than engaging in divisive debate about Unity.

It is only natural that parties in the Republic of Ireland aspire to a United Ireland, however, I think the majority of people no longer see this as a priority and are prepared to accept the status quo. Like the Orange Institution, the main parties are currently more interested in developing mutual respect and supporting relationships emanating from our shared history. This is where our efforts are best placed.

As we approach 2021, and the centenary of the foundation of the State of Northern Ireland, let us all celebrate our Country and look forward with confidence to Northern Ireland remaining very firmly within the United Kingdom.