Bruce Arnold: We must reject calls to accept more EU control of our budgets
Published 27/06/2011 | 05:00
With Garret Fitz-Gerald's death, Ireland lost its greatest Euro-phile. He shaped the country's view of itself in Europe. He encouraged closer ties with Europe. This paved the way for the euro and Ireland's entry into the mechanism, the worst mistake in our economic history.
He was responsible for later generations of dedicated Irish Europeans, 'Yes' voters in the first Lisbon referendum. They lost that and Europhiles have been losing the plot ever since.
Garret was furious about Lisbon I and so were his most able disciples, Peter Sutherland and Pat Cox. With Garret's death, Sutherland became the most impressive Europhile we have, an apostle for even closer integration, not mincing his words in preaching the old gospel, as he demonstrated last week at the Irish Exporters' Association meeting at which he was given a gold medal -- perhaps it was made of Fool's Gold? -- as a 'Trade Facilitation Award'. Well done, Peter.