4 April 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
European Movement (EM) Ireland is bringing its National Conversation series on the so-called ‘Brexit’ referendum to Munster for a public event at University College Cork from 12-3pm today.
Speakers include Senator Jillian van Turnhout, as well as Dr Mary C Murphy of UCC and the Ireland South MEPs, Deirdre Clune, Seán Kelly and Liadh Ní Riada. Blarney native Noelle O Connell, who is Executive Director of EM Ireland, will chair the event. A senior UK government official will also offer reflections at the end.
Speaking ahead of the event, Ms Noelle O Connell said, “European Movement Ireland is strongly of the view that a European Union without the UK would be a far poorer one. We have initiated a National Conversation here in Ireland about the UK’s reform agenda and the referendum, as we believe that the ties which unite our two islands mean that the impact of a potential ‘Brexit’ on Ireland would be enormous.”
“It is also worth noting”, added Ms O Connell “that most EU nationals from the other 26 Member States living in the UK will not have a vote in the referendum which will take place on June 23rd; however, an estimated 500,000 Irish people are eligible to do so, as part of a much larger Irish diaspora in the UK. Everyone will of course accept the final decision of the UK electorate but we hope that all of those who are eligible to vote will do so, so they can have their say on the day,” added Ms O Connell.
“We look forward to having a wide ranging discussion in Cork today with our excellent panel of speakers. With 3 months to go to the referendum, European Movement Ireland is asking everyone in Cork who has a loved one in the UK to remind them register to vote in the June referendum as soon as possible. Just log onto www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – it’s that easy” concluded Ms O Connell.