Enda Kenny urges Brexit voters to follow the lights home

Taoiseach Enda Kenny dances with Ann McCoy. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA

“I am not going to sing up here,” Enda Kenny told the crowd.

He was leaving that up to the next big star in country music who had been on stage before him.

Instead, Mr Kenny was all about the spoken word yesterday, using a number of analogies and tales — but no ‘two pint men’ — to explain the consequences of a Brexit.

Before the terrible news of the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox came through, the Taoiseach was in jovial spirit as he called in on an Irish tea-dance in Liverpool.

Mr Kenny was in the UK to tell the first, second, third, or any generation of Irish that they should vote in favour of Britain staying in the EU, Union reminding them that it would make “things a little bit easier for our own country”.

The Taoiseach told the hall — full of mainly elderly ex-pats or who had come mostly for the bingo and hear Nathan Carter’s brother Jacob sing — to remember the relatives back in “Mayo or Kerry or Wexford or Dublin or wherever you represent” when voting next week.

The Irish in the UK — a cohort of around 345,000 of eligible voters — is not insignificant and Mr Kenny was eager to shore up as many of these for the Remain side as possible.

A whole host of Irish ministers and politicians — Labour leader Brendan Howlin was also canvassing in Liverpool yesterday — have crossed the Irish Sea and travelled to the North to highlight the importance of staying in Europe.

Whether their calls to help the ancestral homeland by rejecting Brexit will be listened to remains to be seen.

But the Government certainly appears acutely aware that a British vote to leave could have catastrophic repercussions for us, repercussions that they may not have fully prepared for.

Indeed, the extent to which the government has planned for a Brexit was questioned by Mr Howlin yesterday.

Before the tragic events of the day unraveled causing Mr Kenny to cancel all other Brexit campaigning, a whistle-stop tour of Liverpool and Manchester was planned to canvass on behalf of the remain campaign.

“I didn’t come here to lecture the British people about what they should do, that’s not my remit,” Mr Kenny said. “But I want to talks to the Irish communities and those with Irish connections.”

He brought those who had just finished their tea and sandwiches in St Michael’s Irish Centre in Liverpool not quite down memory lane but along another path.

Mr Kenny gave them two choices, two paths to take in the Brexit debate, but urged them to go down the Remain route.

“It’s like if you are going home from your friend’s house at night after playing cards or talking or whatever, and one way home is lit up. You follow the street lamps, you get to your own home, you know where the road is.

“The other is a round-about way that has no lights at all on it and you are not sure where that leads to.

“So if you vote to stay at least we know where the road ahead is and while there might be potholes on the road, while there might be hills or obstacles, at least we know where they are.

“So when you go to vote you have to think of your children and your families, what opportunity are you going to give them.

“If the British electorate decide to leave, the day after things are going to be different.”

Whatever way the British vote next week we will be on a road untraveled.

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