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“It’s time to talk about Ireland’s exit from the European Union”

Former two-weight mixed martial arts world champion and all-round sports superstar Conor McGregor may have just become Ireland’s biggest defender for ‘Irexit’ – an Irish exit from the European Union.

McGregor, who conquered top featherweight, lightweight and welterweight opponents in the Dana White (UFC)-led Ultimate Fighting Championship and became the first fighter in promotion history to claim two belts simultaneously in 2016, said it was “time to talk about Ireland’s exit from the European Union” in a social media posting Friday.

Whether or not he would vote in favor of an Irish exit after this discussion remained open, although he had strongly indicated that he would likely be in favor of leaving in an monitoring station lamenting the fact that “we don’t have leaders in Ireland, we have messengers. Subordinates.

Given the context, it is likely that this was a reference to all the areas in which Ireland and other EU member states have to cede sovereignty to the bloc as a whole – largely motivated by Franco-German interests – Brussels exercising collective control over members, national fish stocks, international trade agreements and much of their migration rules and regulatory regime, among others.

Indeed, as a member of the euro area, with its single euro currency managed by the European Central Bank (ECB) based in Frankfurt, the Republic of Ireland is even less sovereign as a member of the EU than the Kingdom – United – who has never given up on the pound. – used to be, having only a limited right of scrutiny over its own budgetary and monetary policy.

The more contemporary issue of vaccine policy, however, appears to have been the trigger for McGregor’s intervention, with the Irishman slamming his country’s rulers as “Lack of EU” after having described vaccines as “talking about mandating” as “laughable”.

“The tracks of this sauce train will soon be realigned and sent to its rightful destination of an Irish red brick wall,” he promised.

Ireland’s limited room for maneuver as an EU member state was humiliated with the publication of the so-called Trichet Letters in 2014.

These showed how then President of the European Central Bank, Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet, essentially pushed the Irish government to make a “request” for a bailout – with various punitive austerity measures attached. and overseen by the ECB, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – in 2010, in large part by threatening to cut emergency funding if Dublin does not comply.

“Ireland was humiliated, harassed, harassed at first and very badly treated,” said Shane Ross, independent member of the Irish parliament, after the correspondence was revealed.

‘Irexit’ is a relatively small movement today – as the Brexit movement once was – but won a bullet in the arm when Hermann Kelly, former director of communications for the Freedom and Peace Europe group Direct Democracy (EFDD) in the European Parliament which included then UKIP leader Nigel Farage and his compatriots, helped establish the Irish Freedom Party.

“We traded a (British) empire for the EU empire,” Kelly said at the party’s launch in 2018, adding: “Ireland must be a democratic and sovereign country. EU membership is incompatible with this.

With Conor McGregor now potentially putting his full weight behind the pro-sovereignty movement, he could start to gain ground among the Irish public – or at least a more prominent place in the national discourse.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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