‘Ya, that was Paul McGrath’

VOTE ya says Paul McGrath. Vote ya says Paul McGrath.

The legendary Republic of Ireland defender made a bizarre entrance to the Lisbon treaty debate when he told the controversial anti-Lisbon lobby Coir: “I don’t f**king agree with you. It is bull***t.”

The retired soccer star barged into Coir’s Monday night meeting after he met with boxing’s greatest champion Muhammad Ali at a fundraising event in the Ballsbridge Court Hotel.

Coir, which has its headquarters in the offices of anti-abortion activists Youth Defence, was hosting a small meeting on the treaty when McGrath made his feelings known by shouting from the door.

“You cannot interrupt,” he was told.

Those organising the event asked him to leave. “Ah Paul. Go on Paul will ya?” they said.

Mr McGrath then reiterated his view that “it was bull***t” a number of times. Afterwards they confirmed to each other, “Ya, that was Paul McGrath.”

The argy-bargy was broadcast live on the internet by Irish Election.com blogger Alexia Golez.

But McGrath’s minute-long speech was not clear enough to pick up everything he said about Ireland in Europe.

Suzy Byrne, who runs the blog, Mamam Poulet, also witnessed the soccer legend’s surprise canvass and posted the moment on Twitter.

“He was asked to leave. Initially he didn’t want to and those at the meeting said they would call security and then he did leave,” he said.

The former footballer followed Irish captain Robbie Keane as fledgling campaigners in favour of Lisbon. However, Keane has so far opted for more orthodox events organised by the yes camp.


It’s a particular issue for many during lockdown.Stress Awareness Month: Are you stress eating?

A daily structure is essential when working from home during the coronavirus crisis. But watch you don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your children, experts tell Helen O’CallaghanParenting during Coronavirus: How to get the balance right at home

More From The Irish Examiner