Durkan joins ex-President McAleese and former SNP king-pin Salmond in '˜Remain' campaign

Londonderry SDLP MP Mark Durkan and former President of Ireland Mary McAleese have joined forces to urge Irish people living in Great Britain to vote '˜Remain' in the upcoming European Union referendum on June 23.

Mr Durkan publicly endorsed the Irish4Europe campaign, which is supported by Irish politicians and celebrities – including Bob Geldof.

Irish4Europe supporters believe that for security, the economy and for the freedom to live, travel and work, the UK is better off as part of Europe.

Irish4Europe is concerned about the damaging impact a British exit from the EU would have on the stability of the intertwined economies of both the UK and Ireland.

Mr Durkan also welcomed Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond to the city.

Mr Salmond, an ex-leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and currently a Westminster MP, is calling for a ‘Remain’ vote in the upcoming EU referendum.

He is due to address a Chamber of Commerce lunch on Friday, June 10.

“I warmly welcome Alex Salmond to Derry.

“Alex is someone who is a proven, formidable campaigner for Europe who is making such a positive pitch for the ‘Remain’ campaign.

“I know that he will be strong in his message, credibly measured in his arguments, sensitive to local perspectives, and colourful in his appeal to voters,” said Mr Durkan.

Among those in the Irish4Europe steering group is Grainne Mellon, a barrister in Garden Court Chambers, International Human Rights Law Lecturer at LSE and Chair of London Irish Lawyers Association (I4E co-chair), who is originally from County Londonderry.

Claire Tighe, the SDLP Westminster office manager, who formerly worked on the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum, is also on the steering group and is the I4E campaign director.