The Irish presidential election reveals that the nationalism in the north is very different than that in the south. Republican language from SF is significantly toned down in the south and they are viewed primarily as a party of protest (over the economy) in the ROI.
In short, SFs assertion that a united Ireland is closer because of McGuinness’s electioneering seems to be well off canvas. The ROI just think northern nationalists are weird and really can’t have an additional burden on the economy. This is the basic reality of deprivation in the south in the “current climate” (I hate that phrase).
Finally, McGuinness was given a really hard time in the debates because of his IRA past. This has largely been consigned, in the north, to political history – not so the south. He did secure SF’s largest vote in the south but I don’t think unionists have much to fear about moving closer to a united Ireland just yet (ssshhh…don’t tell the dissidents, it’ll give them ammunition – metaphorically of course!)