Cookies on The Nenagh Guardian website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Nenagh Guardian website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • News

EU and Me at Nenagh Library

Saturday, 4th May, 2019 9:00am
Jump to comments
EU and Me at Nenagh Library

Stephen Kinsella, Associate Professor of Economics, UL, and Iva Pocock, journalist, with Noel Whelan, SC, speakers at Nenagh Library EDIC’s talk: ‘EU and Me... What has the EU ever done for me?’

EU and Me at Nenagh Library

Stephen Kinsella, Associate Professor of Economics, UL, and Iva Pocock, journalist, with Noel Whelan, SC, speakers at Nenagh Library EDIC’s talk: ‘EU and Me... What has the EU ever done for me?’

Nenagh Library, as Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for counties Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Kerry, held a very successful citizens dialogue on Thursday, April 4th, as part of their programme of events for 2019.


With polling day for the European elections approaching on Friday, May 24th, our talk on ‘EU and Me - What has the EU ever done for me?' was timely indeed. Speakers on the night were Noel Whelan SC, political analyst and columnist with the Irish Times, and Stephen Kinsella, Associate Professor of Economics, UL, and columnist for the Sunday Business Post, with the journalist Iva Pocock moderating the Question and Answer session which followed.


Of course, to have a proper dialogue, we needed to hear from the audience too and they did not disappoint, giving their views on the pros and cons of increased European integration, the disconnect felt by different member states towards the EU, and the need to bridge this gap in communication.


Both speakers felt that Ireland’s relationship with the EU has been beneficial. Noel spoke of the extraordinary importance of the European ideal of cooperation and integration when it came to Ireland in that it allowed us “first of all to raise our eyes from the ground and then to turn away from the UK to look towards Europe”. That was a huge milestone for us in our growth as a nation and is perhaps the reason why our outlook on the EU is generally positive and less contentious than other countries.


There is no doubt that we live in “complicated” times and across Europe, nationalist and far-right parties have made significant electoral gains. Fears of a dilution of national identity and loss of national sovereignty in the face of overarching EU policies have fed into a long held Euroscepticism, resulting in a turning inward amongst several countries.


While Noel doesn’t see us falling into the trap of populism as has happened in the UK and USA, we cannot afford to be complacent. The European elections should be as important to us as our local and national ones, ensuring we send the best and brightest to represent us in Europe.


This talk was part of Nenagh EDIC’s message to everyone to make their voice heard on Friday, May 24th. We would like to thank most sincerely our speakers and moderator. We would like to thank also Jonathan Claridge, Head of Communication at the European Commission Representation in Ireland, and all those who contributed to this talk.


We would advise everyone to check that they are registered to vote and to ensure that they are heard on the 24th. Further information can be found at www.citizensinformation.ie and www.europa.eu.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from around the county with an epaper subscription from €2.20*