The EU and national identity


A chara, – Paul O’Beirne (April 29th) believes that Ireland withdrawing from the EU would lead to our national identity being “returned and restored”. In fact, EU membership has only enhanced our national identity.

Before joining, Ireland was an undeveloped, impoverished backwater, dependent on the UK and beset by mass emigration. After 44 years of EU membership, we are a prosperous, globally oriented state, with a national identity finally strong enough to begin shedding our post-colonial insecurities and Anglophobia.

Our Tricolour flies not only in Ireland but in 26 other European capitals, we possess a vote and a veto over the world’s largest single market, Irish is a working language of the union, and EU cash funds Irish arts and cultural programs. Who could reasonably view these changes as a loss rather than a gain to our national identity?

A strong Ireland means a strong identity. Giving up our vote in Europe to return to our weak, isolated patch in Britain’s shadow seems the surest way to lose our national identity for good. – Is mise,



Baile Átha Cliath 4.