A Derry man is the official spokesperson for a new political party campaigning for Ireland to leave the European Union (EU).
Hermann Kelly, a former journalist and now head of communications at the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group of MEPs in Brussels, is a key player in the Irexit Freedom Party which will be launched in Dublin this weekend.
Also involved are Ray Bassett, a former Irish ambassador, and Ray Kinsella, a UCD professor.
Hermann Kelly, a former St Columb’s College student from Derry’s Bogside, believes Ireland should follow Britain’s example in leaving the EU.
“These people have democratically decided to take back control of their own money, their own laws and their own borders,” he said.
“This is about Irish people looking to reclaim Irish democracy for themselves.”
“Ireland now hands over €2.7bn to the EU every year. It is a crazy idea to pay people you did not elect and whom you cannot get rid of to impose a large part of the laws directly applicable in Ireland - ie EU regulations.”
It’s understood Ray Bassett will tell Saturday’s conference what he claims will be the benefits of leaving the EU and its Customs Union.
The notion of an Irish exit from the EU has only become a topic for public discussion in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK in 2016.
It’s understood public support for an Irish exit from the European Union is comparatively low.