Tuesday 16 January 2018

No kidding: Paddies will be fine if the Brits leave the EU

'Paddies will be fine if Brits leave the EU'
'Paddies will be fine if Brits leave the EU'

Liam Halligan

"Fair play with the 'plastic Paddy' shtick, Liam, but you're talking out of your hole." So shouted a heckler at the Kilkenomics Festival - his words directed at me.

Up on stage in the Marble City's bijoux Set Theatre, I was on a panel discussing the possible implications of 'Brexit' for Ireland, the sell-out event combining economics with riotous comedy. The show-cased 'experts' were dealing with a technical, highly emotive subject: just how will Ireland fare if its biggest trading partner votes to quit the European Union?

The atmosphere was gladiatorial - this was one theatre audience not waiting for the interval to get a drink. Facing the rhetorical firepower not just of a rowdy 300-plus crowd but our moderator, comedian Des Bishop, the glib, fence-sitting answers economists usually offer were brutally, often hilariously, exposed.

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