Sunday 22 September 2019

Leo Varadkar on admiration for 'hopeful, energetic and determined' Charles Stewart Parnell

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks at the British Irish Chamber of commerce gala dinner
Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks at the British Irish Chamber of commerce gala dinner Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
Nigel Farage has had a picture of Charles Stewart Parnell on the door of his office in Brussels for the past decade
Charles Stewart Parnell
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Charles Stewart Parnell has done the hat-trick.

On Tuesday he found his way back into the House of Commons courtesy of derogatory comments from Jacob Rees Mogg.

Then he popped up in the European Parliament where Brexit leader Nigel Farage declared him an idol.

Now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has evoked the memory of the Home Rule leader as he tried to sum up the political drama.

Addressing the British Irish Chamber of Commerce tonight, Mr Varadkar said Parnell “believed that our future prosperity depended on us being ‘hopeful, energetic and determined’”.

“They are three qualities which are needed now more than ever as we deal with the challenge of Brexit.

Nigel Farage has had a picture of Charles Stewart Parnell on the door of his office in Brussels for the past decade
Nigel Farage has had a picture of Charles Stewart Parnell on the door of his office in Brussels for the past decade

“We must be hopeful about finding a solution, energetic in preparing for the worst that might happen, and determined to defend the all island economy, the peace process, and all that we value,” he said.

Mr Mogg brought his Parnell into a heated Commons’ debate earlier this week, comparing those who sought to seize control from the UK government as acting in the most unconstitutional fashion since Parnell “when he tried to bung up parliament” with protracted speeches.

It has emerged earlier today that Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has a picture of the Irishman on the door of his office in Brussels for the past decade.

In a statement, he told Independent.ie that he has “long been a great admirer” of the 19th century politician.

As an MP, Parnell often adopted a tactic of obstructionism and disrupted proceedings in the House of Commons using technical procedures in an effort to get Irish issues onto the agenda.

Farage has now described him as “the Great Disruptor of the UK parliament” who acted in the interest of his home nation.

“I have tried, in the same way, to cause some disruption in the European Parliament and I hope that I've been effective in drawing attention to the cause of the UK breaking free of the EU's political union based in Brussels.

“If you believe in the cause of national freedom and self-determination, you cannot consent to Brussels rule or being a member of the European Union,” Farage said.

Parnell served as a member of parliament from 1875 to 1891.

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