Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TD Charlie McConalogue, Phelim O’Neill (Irish Farmers Journal), IFA Chief Economist Rowena Dwyer, TD James Browne & TD Dara Calleary receiving their Wexford goods for being guest speakers at the Conference on Brexit. Pic: Nicola Reddy.

HOW BREXIT is likely to impact on County Wexford was discussed at two well-attended seminars hosted in Wexford recently by Fianna Fáil representatives.

Deputy James Browne was joined by his party’s Brexit spokesman Stephen Donnelly TD and fellow party colleagues including Charlie McConalogue TD and Dara Calleary TD, journalists Phelim O’Neill of the Irish Farmers Journal and Niamh Lyons, Political Editor of the Irish Edition of The Times, Chief Economist with the Irish Farmers’ Association Rowena Dwyer and others at a forum held at The Talbot Hotel.

The scale of events which have occurred since the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union was described by Ms. Lyons at the event as “nearly like a tsunami.

“We had the initial earthquake with the vote and waves have been coming through ever since.”

Deputy Donnelly said that while he agreed with the Editor, “the important thing was not to fall into a trap of saying “there’s so much uncertainty that we kind of have to wait and see.”

“That’s my fear that that’s actually where the state is now… it’s kind of paralysed… but businesses deal with uncertainty all the time and the government needs to be able to deal with uncertainty.”

Among those to tackle the Brexit effect topic at a separate forum hosted by Fianna Fáil Cllr. Malcolm Byrne at Clayton Whites Hotel, meanwhile, were: former MEP and Minister Avril Doyle: Chief Executive of Wexford County Council, Tom Enright; General Manager of Rosslare Europort, John Lynch; President of the Irish Road Haulage Association, Verona Murphy; President of Wexford Chamber, Karl Fitzpatrick, Irish Times columnist and barrister Noel Whelan and Irish Farmers’ Association Chair James Kehoe.

Feelings on Brexit ranged from anger to concern to tentative optimism regarding new opportunities the vote created for Ireland, as each of the speakers addressed the audience of over 100 people in attendance.

Mr. Whelan did not hold back in outlining the “bleak” outlook that Brexit has created for Ireland and said the Irish people were entitled to feel angered and frustrated by the actions of the “spoiled public schoolboys” now at the helm of the United Kingdom.

He described the Brexit challenge for Ireland as “as difficult as trying to separate two Siamese twins.”

Ms. Doyle, meanwhile, outlined her view that the attitude of British Prime Minister Theresa May towards the Irish people had been appalling.

The former MEP raised concerns regarding the potential return of a border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and said it was impossible to see how the system could work.

Read more in the Wexford Echo.

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By Sarah Bermingham
Contact Newsdesk: 053 9259900

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