Hundreds in attendance at Irexit political party launch in Dublin
The party claims that the EU is "fundamentally anti-democratic".
A new eurosceptic political party advocating for Ireland to leave the European Union – following directly in the footsteps of the UK – is holding a conference in Dublin on Saturday to discuss the possible benefits there would be for Ireland should it chooses to leave the EU.
The Irexit party, which intends on running candidates in the next general and European elections, has been set up by founder Hermann Kelly, former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett, UCD Professor of Economics Ray Kinsella and Paddy Manning.
Manning first made prominence back in 2015 when, as an openly gay man, he campaigned against same-sex marriage.
Kelly – who serves as director of communications for the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the EU Parliament and who has worked in the European Parliament as the UKIP Press Officer – is head of communications for the campaign and insists that the current EU structure does not "serve our (Ireland's) interests".
In an interview with Express.co.uk, Kelly said that "The Irexit Freedom party stands for taking back control of Irish affairs.
"Like Brexit, we want to take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. The EU has become a colonial master which doesn't stand up for our national interests. These people aren't our friends."
A "full house" has been recorded at Saturday's event in the capital, with a source confirming to JOE that "over 400" are in attendance.
300 signatures of people aged 18 or over are needed to officially register as a political party in Ireland.
— Muintir na hÉireann (@MuintirNa) September 8, 2018
— 🇮🇪 (@bigalsrottie) September 8, 2018
Lots here at the launch of IREXIT party pic.twitter.com/KuJavZeu8n
— Reverend Simon Sideways (@Revsimonsideway) September 8, 2018
Professor Ray Kinsella launched the EU Exit campaign to a group of over 200 at the Bonnington Hotel – the former Regency – on Saturday morning, arguing that leaving the EU would maintain Ireland's military neutrality.
Ireland's current defensive position, he argued, is compromised due to the membership of EU battle groups and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) defence initiative.
PESCO is the part of the European Union's security and defence policy which allows member states to join together develop military forces, invest in shared projects and enhance their respective armed forces. It was first set out in the Lisbon Treaty.
It would potentially create one singular European Army and has been backed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the past.
She is awake, the Sleeping Beauty of the Lisbon Treaty: Permanent Structured Cooperation is happening. I welcome the operational steps taken today by Member States to lay the foundations of a European #DefenceUnion. Our security cannot be outsourced. https://t.co/LNACbCdeWH
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) December 11, 2017
Bassett is also scheduled to speak at the conference about how he believes that leaving the EU and the customs union will bring great benefits to the country of Ireland, including avoiding a hard border and maintaining steady and harmonious trade.
Nigel Farage is the president of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Parliament alongside 42 other MEPs from seven different nations.
Six months ago, Farage was the keynote speaker at an Irexit conference held in Dublin, which saw hundreds attend the event held in the RDS.
Farage noted the brutality of the EU superstate and the complicity of the media in two of his main points. "We've done our bit," he said, noting Brexit.
In a recent Red C poll, conducted on behalf of the European Movement group, 76% of people said that they “agreed strongly” that Ireland should remain as part of the European Union.
Main image via @bigalsrottie