The Scottish first minister spoke after Sinn Fein won the most seats, 27 out of 90, in last week’s Stormont election.
This gives Sinn Fein the right to have one of his representatives hold the position of First Minister there – the first time a non-federal politician has held the highest office in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s local government elections saw the Scottish National Party (SNP) re-emerge as the winner, with Mrs. Sturgeon’s party taking more council seats than any other party.
While Ms Sturgeon stressed that there were “various factors at play” in elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland, she claimed that “there are clearly very large fundamental questions being asked in every part of the UK, about UK governance in the coming years”.
She added: “I think there is a growing sense that the UK in its current situation is not adequately serving the needs of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or perhaps even England.
“And I think we will see big changes in the coming years and I am convinced that one of those changes will be Scottish independence.”
Sinn Fein, who supports a united Ireland, congratulated her on her success, with Ms Sturgeon saying: “For them to become the biggest party in Northern Ireland, you know, is a development of truly historic proportions.”
But she also stressed the importance of the parties in Stormont “working together, working together” and making the Northern Ireland Executive work again.
The Scottish First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party hailed her party’s success in local elections as “amazing”, saying it was “really amazing” to have such a result after 15 years in power in Edinburgh.
Ms Sturgeon insisted on winning a mandate for a second independence referendum in the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, which saw the Scottish National Party and the pro-independence Scottish Green Party win a majority of seats in Holyrood, with both parties vowing to hold a vote on the issue. In this parliamentary session.
Sturgeon noted that both the SNP and the Green Party had increased their share of the vote in last week’s council elections, as she said work towards a second referendum would continue.
Asked when a future independence referendum bill would be brought before the Scottish Parliament, the first minister said she would “determine that at the appropriate time”.
However, any such legislation would almost certainly face a legal challenge from the UK government, which opposes such a vote.
Ms Sturgeon also said her government would start drawing up white papers on independence “in the very near future”.
It has been nearly a decade since the publication of the former independence white paper, which contained more than 700 pages, in which the prime minister promised that the new paper would be “refreshing” and set a “very positive case for independence.”