Brexit was a choice for UK, not Ireland – the UK disengaging from the EU is not our business

Interfering in an election of the UK and urging Irish people to vote against Brexit probably had the reverse effect Photographer �Matt Mackey - Presseye.com  May 2015
Interfering in an election of the UK and urging Irish people to vote against Brexit probably had the reverse effect Photographer �Matt Mackey - Presseye.com May 2015

Your readers may be interested in an open letter that I recently sent to Tom McGurk of the Sunday Business Post (SBP) newspaper which circulates in Northern Ireland and the Republic. My letter reads:

Dear Tom McGurk,

Front page of a 2015 Sunday Business Post

Front page of a 2015 Sunday Business Post

Seeing that you see fit to write an uninvited open letter, in today’s SBP, January 8, to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, perhaps you won’t object to my sending you a short response which I hope will see the light of day in your letters page.

My response is predicated on the fact that Ireland, excluding Northern Ireland, is an independent state as is the UK (even though we are members of the EU).

I appreciate that given your Northern Ireland background, it may be difficult for you to disentangle the two.

For instance, I recall (if my memory serves me correctly) that you, and many Irish print journalists, were calling, prior to the recent UK referendum on the EU, for Irish people, and people of Irish descent, living in the UK to vote against leaving the EU.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Apart from being stupid advice which probably had the opposite result to that intended, it was a blatant unethical call for interference in the internal affairs of another state, namely the UK. You obviously have not learnt any lesson from this piece of myopic and arrogant stupidity; you are again calling for this state to interfere in the process of the UK’s disengagement from the EU.

It is not our business.

Ireland is a small and quite insignificant member of the EU and should keep quiet, at least publically, otherwise we will get hurt, because there is an ugly battle royal looming between the UK and the EU; the idea that Ireland should hold a referendum on the terms of any Brexit is preposterous.

Instead of the aimless dancing around the mulberry bush nonsense in your letter, Ireland should be getting itself ready for staying within an EU that excludes the UK. For instance Ireland should be creating a merchant fleet to trade directly with the EU because there is a strong possibility that the UK land route could be closed off soon.

Micheal O’Cathail, Island of Ireland