By Eugene McGloin
MAY 10th 1972 we voted to join the Common Market, or the EEC as it was then known in its teenage years.
day 45 years ago we had finished counting our referendum votes and
ballots and the outcome was crystal clear, ie Ireland In.
'We' does not include the vast majority of people in Ireland, those who
have since then voted on fifty-five national ballot papers.
thirteen general elections, eight elections to the European Parliament,
four Presidential polls, plus circa thirty referenda since.
of the people who voted in all 55 elections did not, were not allowed,
vote in the May 1972 ballot to join -- or not join -- the Common Market.
(and I) were then too young then at eighteen; in the words of Barry
McGuire's great protest song we were ''old enough to kill but not for
should maybe have that ballot now. In my 64th year I would like -- just
ONCE -- to have a national debate and get a first voting paper on
the opinion polls consistently express our overwhelming support for
being members of the EC, as it now known in its 60th year.
Our powers that be, which includes media, are of course fearful of such debates and such votes.
private fear(s) are founded in the fact that so many majorities have
whittled away in various referenda, once the debate gets under way.
McKenna judgement in the Supreme Court means that voters would,
theoretically anyway, get equal information on the merits and demerits
of the case for and against Europe.
Ho. Ho. Ho. The guaranteed
one-sided nature of media, national and regional, would set at nought that theory of equal space for opposing arguments.
We had a European head honcho in the Dail yesterday, Thursday.
is handsomely paid to represent the EC to us as a Perpetual Shining
Light, without which we would all live in an age of darkness. Maybe.
The impression was given yesterday of how 'hard' and 'soft' 'Brexit' would work.
The distinct impression is of reams and reams of red tape, all caused by 'Brexit.'
Surely no institution in Irish lives governs in red tape as much the EC itself does.
is no evidence of real EC reforms afoot, though those who ride the
Gravy Train keep talking of the need for, eh, ''root and branch''
Methuselah himself will be in middle age, living his life backways, before there is any real reform in European ways.
But you would need the don himself, Don Corleone -- the boss of bosses -- in your family tree to fund a fight against any of Europe's juggernaut of bureaucracy.
I'm pro-European, not that you might guess that from the foregoing.
the bureaucracy is remote from its citizenry; that fact, more than any
other, curtails and chokes enthusiasms we have for expressions of
Surely, we would be stronger and not weaker to have a debate and vote any time.