A clear line in the sand is emerging on the political front as Donegal public representatives play a vital role in forcing the fiscal compact referendum.
Indications show an even split in the number of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigners among our six sitting TDs.
Ireland will now hold a referendum on ratifying the European fiscal compact and early indications show it could take place near the end of May.
Donegal South west TD, Deputy Thomas Pringle played an important role in forcing the referendum when he and other independents invoked a previously little known article of the Constitution. Under “Article 27”, where a Bill can be referred to a referendum if requested by at least one third of the Dáil.
“I welcome the fact that there is going to be a referendum on this. I think it is vitally important that Irish people have their say. It is important for the legitimacy of any future arrangements. There is also a European Stability Mechanism Treaty due to come before the Dail in the next few weeks and is also linked to the Fiscal compact treaty. I would be calling for that to be added to the referendum and that it would take place on both issues at the same time,” he stated.
He also said it was important to hold “level headed debate” on the subject in the lead up to the vote and it is his intention to support a no vote.
Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Dinny McGinley TD, said it was a “highly important” referendum.
“It’s very important to focus in on what the referendum is about. It is going to determine our place in Europe in the future. If we vote ‘yes’ we are going to be within the loop and be able to go ahead with the rest of them. If we vote ‘no’ they will continue to finance us until 2013 and then, according to the treaty, unless your in they won’t be allowed to finance you after that.”
Sinn Fein ‘no’ campaigner Padraig MacLochlainn TD said the campaign yes vote was a “sheer terror bully boy tactic” and that Ireland has a “robust constitution” that allows the people to decide its role in these affairs.
“It doesn’t do anything to tackle the core issues, If anything it is a distraction from things like unemployment, investment, banking crisis, sovereign debt crisis, there are three or four elements. None of them are addressed by this treaty,” he stated.
Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh TD said it was “technical treaty” that will help ensure that the type of governance that went on in the past would never be repeated.
Fianna Fail Charlie McConalogue TDis supporting a yes vote, stating it will contribute towards a “more stable Europe”.
Sinn Fein’s Deputy Pearse Doherty could not be reached at the time of going to press.