Former Donegal council boss highlights how EU benefitted county

A former county council manager in Donegal, one of the counties likely to be most affected by Brexit, claims Ireland was “screwed” in negotiations with Britain before European countries came on board for talks in the 70s.

Michael McLoone was speaking at the launch of the fourth Micheal O’Cleirigh Summer School, which will be held a few kilometres from the border in Rossnowlagh from May 12 to 14.

The Summer school will be one of the first to explore, alongside the Brexit negotiations, how Ireland could protect what it had gained, as well as continuing to benefit, from being a partner in Europe.

Mr McLoone recalled that when Garret Fitzgerald’s son, John, was storing records of the first 50 years of Ireland’s independence, he was struck by the extent the country was “constantly screwed in negotiations bilaterally with the UK” in trade and tariff agreements with a major trading partner.

Mr McLoone pointed out that places and projects in Donegal had benefitted hugely from EU co-operation and its Structural Funds in the past.

And he says this must not be lost sight of during the coming Brexit negotiations.