Could we be voting on the ESM Treaty Amendment also?

Four Courts, Dublin's main court building.
Four Courts, Dublin's main court building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Independent TD, Thomas Pringle of Donegal South West, is taking the Government to court claiming that the ESM Treaty ratification should have been via a referendum rather then just a vote in the Oireachtas.

This treaty change is linked to the Fiscal Compact which Ireland will be having a referendum on ratification on May 31st.

Deputy Pringle is concerned that the European Stability Mechanism treaty and the Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact) treaty raised “serious legal difficulties” both in Ireland and Europe.

“In effect [the treaty] can direct the State to raise sovereign debt, give the money so raised to it and can then decide, where, when, whether and how it is to be spent,” he said. “Therefore Ireland will not have power to control decisions regarding the use of funds raised by it.”

“What if a majority of voters in the May referendum on the fiscal compact vote in favour of imposing permanent austerity rules on the country in order to get access to a proposed permanent euro zone loan fund only to discover that the treaty to establish that fund is illegal under EU law and unconstitutional in Ireland and may never in fact come into force,” he said.

A plenary summons was lodged at the High Court last Friday and served on the chief State solicitor that day. A copy was also sent to the offices of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

Deputy Pringle said he was forced to take this action as he had not received a reply to letters sent by his solicitors to Mr Kenny and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan raising issues with the treaties.

This will be an interesting case as this will be the first case challenging the state’s ratification of a state treaty since Raymond Crotty challenged the states ratification of the Single European Treaty. It will be interesting if the court will make any recommendations on treaty ratifications when no power is being transferred.

Donegal South West: Count 4

Sinn Fein Senator Pearse Doherty
Image via Wikipedia

And the results of the final count after Pringle’s votes are distributed:

  • Doherty, Pearse SF +1709 (16897)
  • O’Neill, Barry FG +869 (8102)
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian FF +433 (8069)
  • Non-Transferable +805 (2135)

As neither O’Neill or Ó Domhnaill can reach quota, Pearse Doherty has been declared elected. He is now a TD.

It is interesting also to see that Fine Gael’s Barry O’Neil managed to finish up in 2nd place. Granted only by30 odd votes, but that can be taken as a moral victory. for FG and a bad result for Fianna Fail.

In an email to members Enda Kenny said “Barry O’Neill has proven himself to be a candidate of quality who gave a very credible performance on his first outing in a Dáil election.”

This result shows how interesting it may be in the General Election next year.

Congratulations of course to Pearse Doherty TD.

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Donegal South West: Count 3

Sinn Féin
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And the results of the third count, distribution of McBreaty’s 3,375 votes, are as follows:

  • Doherty, Pearse SF +1452 (15,188)
  • Ó Domhnail, Brian FF +278 (7,636)
  • O Neill, Barry FG +871 (7,313)
  • Pringle, Thomas Ind +272 (3,763)
  • Non-Transferable +1298(1,330)

As no candidate has reached the quota, Thomas Pringle is eliminated.

I think Pearse Doherty will be elected on this the fourth count.

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Donegal South West: Count 2

Fianna Failure
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No major changes after the 2nd count, but here are the current standings:

  • Doherty, Pearse, SF +17 (13,736),
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian FF +4 (7,348),
  • O’Neill, Barry FG +18 (6,442)
  • Pringle, Thomas Ind +9 (3,447),
  • McBrearty, Frank Lab +53 (3,419),
  • Non-Transferrable 32

McBrearty has been eliminated and his vote of 3,3419 is being distributed among the remaining candidates.

With Doherty being 3,477 votes behind quota this will probably go to the 4th count.

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Donegal South West: Count 1

The results from

As expected Doherty as topped the poll. Unexpectedly Labour’s Frank McBreaty has come 4th with the Independent Thomas Pringle beating him by 90 votes on the first count. It will be interesting if he gets eliminated on the 2nd count!

For the second count Ann Sweeney (Ind/New Ireland) has been eliminated and her 133 votes are being distributed.

Some may see  Barry O’Neills result as being a poor one, but the fact that he is less then 1,000 votes behind Fianna Fail’s Brian Ó Domhnaill, says a lot for his campaign.

The results were fairly close to that unofficial exit poll last night. Turnout was up on what was being reported, with 55.32% of eligible voters voting and that has led to a quota of 17,213.

4pm UPDATE: It is expected that Labour’s Frank McBreaty will be the next candidate eliminated.

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Donegal South West: Exit Poll

Image via Wikipedia

Some interesting results from sources tonight in Donegal South West on an exit poll conducted there today. While voting during todays by-election was down on the 60% that voted in 2007, turnout today is expected to have been between 30 and 40%.

The results of the exit poll circulating among politics heads are as follows:

  • Pearse Doherty (SF) 33%
  • Brian Ó Domhnaill (FF) 21%
  • Frank McBrearty (Lab) 19%
  • Barry O’Neill (FG) 18%
  • Thomas Pringle (Ind) 8%

Fianna Fail have managed to get a good turn out according to some tallies on turnout with FF strong holds of Dunfanaghy and Gortahork have a turnout out of over 60%, while it was 55% about Donegal Town. This should favour Ó Domhnaill.

But of course it will all come down to tranfers. Who will hget more of them? Doherty or Ó Domhnaill?

Counting gets underway at 9am tomorrow in Finn Valley Athletic Club, Stranorlar and a result is expected tomorrow evening.

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How soon before we go to the EU-IMF?

Broken Cross
Image by Lochinvar1 via Flickr

Yesterday I found this post on the Telegraph website (via Stephen Kinsella). Its quite a worrying read for those of us who are worried about Ireland’s future.

Ireland is funded until April but after that we will have to return to the bond market. Our auctions are currently suspended. As Colm McCarthy said in the Irish Independent

“The €1.5bn not borrowed in October plus the €1.5bn not borrowed in November represent borrowing postponed, not borrowing avoided,”

If we can’t raise this money, we may have to tap our pensions reserve of €12bn, but that is not a good idea as we do need that money.

The spreads over German Bunds are mimicking the action seen in Greece in the final hours before the dam broke.

This is a worrying sign. Are we about to the way of Greece?

Even if the government manage to win the Donegal South West election and pass the budget, we might still not be better off.

Its looking like sooner or later we will have to go cap in hand to the EU-IMF bailout fund.
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Registered to vote?

Voting booth
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I saw in poster today in college which reminded me of this! Applications for the Draft Register of Electors for 2011 must be in for 25th of this month. This is the easiest way to guarantee that you are on the register if there is any elections next year.

If you are in Dublin South, Waterford and Donegal South-West it is best to be on the register!

Also with talks of the Children’s Rights Referendum happening next year, if you want to be assured of a vote, make sure your on it!

See if your on the register at

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Ahern, Coughlan and O’Dea.

Fianna Fáil
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So what do three of the above have in common at the moment? To me they represent why Fianna Fail is no longer fit to govern.

  • O’Dea lied under oath, and was forced to resign.
  • Coughlan thinks young people emigrate for fun and theres the whole Hanger 6 debacle
  • Ahern was cheerleader in chief for O’Dea and he is the Justice Minister!

This government is beyond itself. It is out of ideas. It has no idea what it should be doing. Of all the cabinet Ministers, the only one I think that is trying to do their job is Brian Lenihan. While I dislike the idea of NAMA, at least he is trying to do something to fix the country, none of the other ministers are!

We have a government where a minister can be brought down by a tweet. Two parties desperate to stay in power because one will be out of power and the other will possibly be wiped out at the polls.

The government has gone stale, Cowen has the opportunity now to embark a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle with his only constraint being the Green Party. What they want, only they know, though the Evening Echo is suggesting that Dan ‘tweet’ Boyle could be elevated to Cabinet.

Where does that leave the rest of us. Well there is the possibility of the Dublin Mayoral Election this year, through which Dublin residents can tell FF and Green Party what they think of them. You will have the Dublin South By-Election (2 years in a row, is that a first?) and you also have the Donegal South-West Bye-Election. Of course there will also be the Childrens Rights Referendum, but the popularity of the Government won’t come into that, hopefully! Then next year you have the Presidential Election.

I dont think FF or the Greens are going to do well in any of the upcoming elections. Dublin South is more then likely going to go Labour, Donegal South-West is probably going to Sinn Fein (I’m sticking to my prediction!), and the Dublin Mayoral election will probably go to Labour on Fine Gael transfers (just like the 1990 Presidential Election!).

Unless the Government gets its act together it will go from crisis to crisis as it is now. It seems to just get over one thing when something else crops up. They need to think quick, the boom is long and Ireland needs solutions now.

Its that or be wiped out.

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Donegal South West By-Election: FG in the starting blocks.

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Fine Gael is set to hold its Convention for the Donegal South West By-election on February 15th. Joe McHugh TD (Donegal North East) has been appointed Director of Elections for the bye-election for Fine Gael.

This will be a very interesting race considering the goings on over the budget at the County Council. Fianna Fail might not be too popular, but with it being a Fianna Fail seat up for grabs who knows what will happen.

I said before that it will be a local councillor selected (either Terrence Slowey or Barry O’Neill) and also last year I called the election for Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty. Nothing has really made me change my mind yet.

Of course we don’t know yet who the Fianna Fail nominee is, and that could change my mind.

Let see how it goes!

UPDATE: I may be wrong about who will be the nominee. I am hearing a new candidate will be put forward, and they are not currently elected. Not are they a cleberity! We will have to wait and see!

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