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Sunday 17 February 2019

'I was extremely proud' - Dublin woman who sent 'Thank You' card to Juncker

Hailey Kierse, from killiney with a photograph of Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission looking at the 'Thank You' card Hailey sent to him. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Hailey Kierse, from killiney with a photograph of Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission looking at the 'Thank You' card Hailey sent to him. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

A Dublin woman who sent a ‘Thank You’ card to the president of the EU Commission for defending Irish interests said she has never felt prouder after a photo emerged of him reading it.

Hailey Keirse (38) from Killiney in South Dublin sent the card to Jean Claude Juncker when he refused to remove the Backstop from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement after the UK government voted it down.

“I was so afraid that Britain would go and Ireland would be pressured to give in on the Good Friday Agreement and we’d become this whipping boy,” she explained.

“Then I had the television on the next day when the EU said it was not up for negotiation and Jean Claude Juncker stood up and said five words, he said: ‘Ireland’s Borders are the EU’s Borders’.

“And I was so relieved and at the same time I was so proud of Ireland’s position in the EU. We’re just a small country but those words made it look mighty."

Hailey, from Killiney in South Dublin, went onto an online website where she designed and shipped the card to Mr Juncker after looking up his office address.

A photo has since emerged of Mr Juncker reading the card alongside Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“Anyone that knows me knows I send 'Thank You' cards for everything. if I go to your house for dinner I send a 'Thank You' card, so everyone rolled laughing when I did it.

“I Googled European President of the Commission and his address came up. I thought you know what, I am nobody special but in that moment I felt extremely proud.

“I had intended to send on to Leo Varadkar as well but it costs 11 euro and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t have the money spare so I just sent it to Juncker."

The young woman, who spoke to RTE's Liveline, said she had “no agenda” and had to look-up the correct spelling of Juncker’s name but that she felt too impassioned following his remarks to not send her gratitude to Brussels.

“I’m not political, I’m not from a political party, I couldn’t even say if I am for Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or Labour. I wouldn’t even say I am any one of those parties.

“I literally did not think that card was going to do anything or mean anything. All I was in that moment in time, was proud of being Irish and where I am from."

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