WITH just under 100 days to go until the Scottish referendum on independence takes place members of the country’s Irish community are campaigning for a Yes vote.
Men and women from across Scotland have formed an Irish for Yes group to mobilise others to vote Yes on September 18, where the nation’s future will be decided.
Among them is Kilkenny-native Diarmuid Griffin, who currently lives in Paisley after moving to Scotland 20 years ago.
“I want my children to have what I had growing up in Ireland, and I don’t just mean hurling,” he said.
“I want them to live in a country that has the confidence to govern itself.”
He added: “When I see all the wealth that is still being generated back home, I despair at the levels of poverty in the West of Scotland when, to my mind at least, Scotland has far more natural resources than Ireland. Any objective person can clearly see that Scotland has so much potential to be realised.”
Lydia Hutchison, who moved to Glasgow from Dublin 15 years ago, claims her peers often ask why she cares about the referendum.
“As an Irish person living in Scotland people often seem surprised that I’m committed to voting Yes,” she told The Irish Post.
“Some wonder why I care, when my country already has independence. But while I will always be proud to be Irish and love going back to Dublin, Scotland has been my home for most of my adult life and it is where my husband and I have chosen to bring up our children. I believe that the only way to guarantee a better future for our children is to do whatever we can to ensure that Scotland delivers a Yes vote in September.”
Co. Down native Joe Merrick was raised in County Down by an Irish mother and Glaswegian father, but came to Scotland in the 1970s.
Despite his decades spent in the country, he claims the opportunity to vote on independence this year is the first issue to stoke his interest in Scottish politics.
“Until now I have never involved myself in politics and never would have, had I not realised what an amazing opportunity was being handed to Scotland, the country I had chosen to make my own,” he explained.
Mother of two Pauline Clarke, whose father hails from Co Donegal, adds that she joined the Irish for Yes campaign due to her desire to see a ‘just, socially inclusive, proud and independent Scotland’.