Brexit and Euro 2016 mean big headlines for Ireland

Photo by Christopher Michel
Photo by Christopher Michel

This week has been a busy one in Europe, with all eyes in Ireland watching two very different events quite closely. With the timeless combination of politics and entertainment, Ireland has had its fair share of headlines over the past few days. Here is a look at how two of the major events in Europe, Brexit and Euro 2016, had an impact on the Irish.

Euro 2016

Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland’s football (soccer) teams advanced much further than expected at Euro 2016. The teams each made it to the final 16, where Northern Ireland was knocked out by Wales 1-0 and Ireland lost to France 2-1.

Photo by Mick Baker
Photo by Mick Baker

However the countries could not be prouder of their teams, with each team receiving a heroes’ welcome upon returning. When it comes to stealing the show though, the Irish fans gave the teams a run for their money. Their charming and courteous behavior captured the world’s attention, and videos of playful antics went viral.

The mayor of Paris just announced that she would be awarding the prestigious City of Paris medal to the Irish fans for their “exemplary sportsmanship” during the tournament. It seems people around the world would agree with that statement.


While Euro 2016 had people cheering, the Brexit vote shocked the world as the UK population voted to leave the European Union (52% to 48%). In the days since, news sources have focused intensely on what this means for the EU, the global economy, and to a great extent, the impact it will have on Ireland.

Photo by Mick Baker

An overwhelming majority are expecting rather dire consequences for Ireland, including impacting the economy, and creating challenging circumstances surrounding the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

One thing that is certain is that Ireland is expected to get a boost in businesses and population. Since the referendum results came out, Irish passport services have been flooded with applications by people from the UK. In fact so many people are applying for passports (to maintain the free travel and work benefits in the EU) that offices are running out of applications, and are overwhelmed with the numbers submitted. In fact Charlie Flanagan, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, pleaded with UK citizens to not rush to apply, implying that the system cannot handle the influx of requests.

Since the UK’s actual split from the EU could take up to two years, it is not necessary to rush to change passports. However the staggering amount of people seeking passports demonstrates the distressed feeling many in the UK share. If you have been planning on getting an Irish passport, we would recommend waiting a few months until the craziness dies down!

How do you think Brexit will affect Ireland? Let us know below!