Independent Cllr Gerry Flynn is leading the call for Ireland to follow in the footsteps of neighbours Britain and leave the European Union.
His comments came during a debate at the July meeting of Clare County Council on Monday evening. Fianna Fáil Cllr Cathal Crowe had proposed a motion in the aftermath of the Brexit calling on the Irish government to hold a referendum on the unification of Ireland. With the 55.78% majority vote from Northern Ireland wanting to remain part of the EU and their vote being defeated, Crowe’s motion called for action.
It read “Taking cognisance of I) the recent majority vote of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union; II) the recent majority vote of the Northern Irish electorate to remain in the European Union; And III) Relevant sections of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement 4 this Council calls on the British government to facilitate a border poll and the Irish government to make the necessary provisions for the holding of a referendum on Irish unification”.
A member of the local authority since 2004, the Meelick Cllr maintained that the time was right to enact elements of the Good Friday Agreement. During the debate he said “Where Clare leads Ireland will follow” and revealed that other County Councils would be discussing the same issue, “we owe it to the people of Ireland”.
This motion was backed by Mike McKee who stated that “Irish unity is economically viable” and PJ Kelly who referenced the merger of East and West Germany in October 1990 for economic reasons.
Fine Gael Cllr Johnny Flynn responded saying now is the time for stability in the North and believed the debate needed to acknowledge the democratic rights of people in Northern Ireland. His namesake Gerry Flynn agreed with him adding that it is not up to Clare County Council to dictate to the North and stated that Ireland should follow suit and leave the European Union.
Crowe’s motion was defeated 10-3 with four elected representatives abstaining from the vote. The proposer was critical of councillors whose tea-break happened to take place by coincidence during the vote.
Speaking to The Clare Herald, Shannon Cllr Gerry Flynn expressed the view that Europe has stolen Ireland’s identity. “Well I do think that here in Ireland and I do consider myself a proud Irishman, I think we have lost our identity, I think Europe has stolen our identity and I think that’s one of the big reasons that Great Britain voted to leave the European project.
“I think Ireland should consider their position now and I think we should now in view of the strong relations we have with Great Britain I think we should review and see if we can strengthen those relations and form an economic block on the edge of Europe because certainly seventy two percent of trade between Ireland and Britain, that’s a large amount of trade so realistically I would be delighted to go out there and campaign for an Irish exit”.
Flynn admitted that he would be happy to canvass for an Irish exit from the EU and declared that he wouldn’t walk away in the aftermath if successful and slammed the British politicians for resigning subsequent to the Brexit vote.
“Oh no I’d stick with it, I’d drive the van or whatever has to be driven, I’d stick with it. Those people in Great Britain that’s the one thing that I think they shouldn’t have done was that they exited and they shouldn’t have, Brexit was one thing but they exited aswell, I didn’t like that”.