13 May 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Co Council seeks meeting with Taoiseach


“Brexit will mean the return of economic and social partition,” Fianna Fáil’s Pádraig McNally told Monday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council.

Severe adverse consequences for business and community life in the county were forecast by Council members if the UK referendum on continued membership of the European Union produces a vote in favour of exit.

So serious did councillors regard the threat that they took the unusual step of seeking an urgent meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to press for a more pro-active approach by the Irish Government in persuading British voters to “do the right thing” come June 23.

Discussion arose from Colr McNally’s motion, “In light of the proposed referendum in England as to whether they stay in the European Union, that Monaghan Co Council seeks a meeting with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD to discuss the very serious effect this would have on a Border county such as Monaghan.”

Colr McNally told the meeting that the Co Council was not going to be fit to influence the vote on the day, but people in Northern Ireland might. A British EU exit would have the same effect on every county right across the length of the Border, but given that Monaghan had the greatest mileage of border, they would be even more adversely impacted.

There were so many complications regarding exports, industry, fire regulations and daily living because of the Border in any case. So long as Britain was in Europe these were kept to a minimum, but they would increase if they exited the EU.

Colr McNally said he remembered security checkpoints at Culloville and constant Customs checks there, and the consequent delays which led to a situation where people stopped travelling and there was a huge social and economic partition. “Crossmaglen was only six or seven miles away, but it was a world away because of the Border,” he reflected.

He was told that opinion on the referendum was very marginal at present and the result could come down to a small number of votes – the outcome in Northern Ireland could be crucial. He was disappointed that one of the major Unionist parties in the North was seeking a ‘Yes’ vote, which he thought was a political consideration rather than what was good for Northern Ireland – this was ill-judged on their part.

“There needs to be a lot more noise made at Irish Government level,” Colr McNally stated. “The 70 days it took to form a Government probably cost us critical time.”

Given that the referendum was taking place on June 23, the Co Council needed to meet the Taoiseach within the next two weeks. “If there is not…


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