Thursday 18 January 2018

Irishman living in Britain vows to back Brexit 'because immigrants are coming to London to take work'

The Mayo fan said he would
The Mayo fan said he would "definitely be voting to leave" the EU. Photo: RTE

Meadhbh McGrath

An Irishman living in Britain has been criticised over his comments on the upcoming EU referendum.

Ahead of the Gaelic football Championship match between Mayo and London yesterday, a man wearing a Mayo jersey said he would “definitely” be voting to leave.

“The vote will be to get out as quick as possible, and there’s a simple reason for that,” he told RTE’s Six One News.

“I left Ireland when I was 15 years of age, I had no other choice. Our work has been taken up by thousands and thousands of people crossing over into Britain and that’s the reason I’ll definitely be voting to leave.”

Stunned viewers took to Twitter to express their disbelief.

“Irish man in London complaining about too many immigrants taking work. An Irish man. In London,” wrote one user.

Another Twitter user echoed those sentiments: “Chap from Mayo on the #sixone arguing for #Brexit. Says he emigrated to UK for work. Doesn't want other emigrants to take his job. Honestly.”

Read More: Kenny urges Irish in UK to vote ‘Remain’

Another quoted the man’s comments, adding: “Wow. Just. Wow.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was also in London yesterday for the match, and urged Irish people living in Britain to vote ‘Remain’.

There are approximately half a million Irish-born people living in the UK, and Mr Kenny noted that Irish people make up a “substantial” part of the British electorate.

He encouraged them to register and to use their vote on June 23, adding that Ireland would be one of the worst affected countries if the UK were to vote to leave the EU.

“My preference for the Irish electorate who have a significant part in this referendum is to vote to stay,” he said.

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