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Lord Kilclooney claims Donegal would be better off in UK

Former Ulster Unionist Party deputy leader, Lord Kilclooney said it would be "great" if County Donegal joined the UK.
Seamus McKinney

Former Ulster Unionist MP, Lord Kilclooney has said County Donegal would be better off if it joined the UK.

Lord Kilclooney (formerly John Taylor) made his comments on radio station Ocean FM. The former deputy leader of the Ulster Unionist Party was speaking on a panel discussing the impact of Brexit on border counties.

The former MP said Donegal suffered through partition and the population had declined since 1921.

“Donegal is a beautiful county and I have often visited it. In fact, I nearly got drowned once at Rossnowlagh, believe it or not.

“But I've seen the population dwindle since 1921; it's down nearly only half of what it was at the time of partition and many of the people of Donegal have moved back into the United Kingdom, into the north west or into Glasgow,” he said.

The former unionist MP said Republic's most northerly county had been largely ignored by the Dublin government.

“It really is the hinterland of Northern Ireland and it would be great to have it back in with us,” he said.

Lord Kilclooney said the county would be better off if it joined the UK as it would benefit from the block grant from Westminster.

Sinn Féin senator, Pádraig MacLochlainn said that while the county was neglected by the Irish government, Lord Kilclooney's comments showed the “complete disarray among unionists.”

Mr MacLochlainn said: “I have to ask myself was he being serious. What we need is not for Donegal to join the UK but for the six north eastern counties of Ireland to join the rest of Ireland. It has never been more clear that a united Ireland is in the best interests of everyone here.”

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