Eurosceptic front-runner in race for the Áras

In the absence of independent Senator David Norris, the former Late Late Show presenter, and current chairman of the Ireland’s Road Safety Authority, Gay Byrne, is reported to be polling ahead of all the declared candidates for Irish President.  And he’s been holding forth on his concerns about the European Union.

“Those concerns are that I think it’s a crazy notion from the very beginning. We crossed the Rubicon when we joined the single currency. I think there’s no backing out now but it’s a mad, mad world and we are being run by mad people in Brussels,” Byrne said.

He was responding to a question about his previous criticism of the EU and the Lisbon Treaty, and whether it might become an issue in a presidential campaign.

Byrne replied that it might but he had not changed his mind.

“What we’re seeing now in Europe, as far as I’m concerned, is a culmination of all my concerns about it down through the years. I never thought we would reach the disastrous stage we are at at the moment in Europe in my lifetime.

“I thought it would eventually come in my grandchildren’s time but it’s come much, much quicker than even I visualised and it’s happening even as we speak.”

A eurosceptic President in Ireland could make the envisaged future developments very interesting indeed…