'Irexit Freedom Party' to launch in Dublin next weekend
A poll earlier this year revealed that 92% of Irish people think the country should remain in the EU.
A new eurosceptic political party advocating for Ireland to leave the European Union intends to run candidates in the next general and European elections.
The Irexit Freedom party will be launched next Saturday in Dublin, with the goal of seeing Ireland exit Europe.
Hermann Kelly, head of communications for the campaign, spoke to Cork's 96FM about the new party, explaining why Ireland should follow Britain's example and leave the European Union.
"Because Irish men and women have struggled for centuries to leave a polticial union we were in before; Britain. And that was called the British Empire. And the British Empire as a political union didn't serve our interests because we were 16% in the Westminster Parliament.
"In the EU Parliament, we are less than 1%," the former journalist continued.
"We are less than 1% of the EU population, less than 1% votes in the European parliament – our interests are not served. And if the EU or common market were of any benefit in the 70s and 80s, going forward it's not because now Ireland is a net contributor to the European Union.
"We give them €2.7 billion per year. That means we are paying people in Brussels who we didn't elect and who we can't get rid of to make our laws," the Derry native continued.
"Who out there actually thinks that it's a good deal to pay people we can't elect to make our laws? For me, that's madness."
Nigel Farage is the president of the Irexit campaign – which claims that the EU is "fundamentally anti-democratic" – alongside 42 other MEPs from seven different nations.
"Germans, Italians, Czechs, Slovaks, all different nationalities," Kelly said, referring to the campaign's members.
It also plans to “achieve the consent of the voters in the North” for a united Ireland and “tackle corruption in Government”.
Fellow backers of the party include former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett, UCD Professor of Economics Ray Kinsella and Paddy Manning, an openly gay man who opposes gay marriage, referring to it as "a bare-faced state power grab".
The notion of an Irish exit from the EU has only become a topic for public discussion in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK.
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.
Tickets to Saturday's conference, which is set to be held at the Bonnington Hotel in Whitehall — the former Regency — from 1pm, can be bought online here.