Sinn Fein to lead the No Campaign – but will the message change?

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  (AFP-OUT) Former Sinn ...
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Sinn Fein have, as expected, come out against the Fiscal Treaty and aim to lead the No campaign in the upcoming referendum. They claim that  passing the referendum on the fiscal treaty will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty. But is that not what they said during Lisbon? Or Nice? Or Maastricht? or any treaty on the European Union that I remember anyway.

Stephen Collins writing in yesterday’s Irish Times points out that the No side have come out with many slogans in past referendums but have any of them come true? He quotes Tainiste Eamonn Gilmore speaking as at the Forum on Europe back in 2008.

Ireland had not been reduced to a province of a European empire; conscription had not been introduced for young Irish men and women; Ireland had not been forced to join any imperialist wars; the nation’s population had not collapsed; Irish culture had not become a thing of the past; trade union rights had not been abolished; abortion and euthanasia had not been introduced; and religious freedom was not suppressed.

“All of these firm fear-inducing predictions were made again and again, and every one was proved to be groundless and inaccurate. They are being made again today by the same individuals, and they are just as unfounded and misleading,” said Gilmore.

The latest claims are of course saying that this treaty will outlaw Keynesian economics as well as undermine our sovereignty. But are they right? Will the treaty do that?

I don’t think so. A cursory reading of the treaty, which is readable thankfully, shows that is highly unlikely that either of those claims are true.

Of course what this means is that the Yes campaign have to be quick to knock down false claims by the no side. But when issues like sovereignty are brought up, it is very hard to argue  it. Abstract ideas like sovereignty are debates suited to philosophical debates rather then the doorsteps and streets of a referendum campaign.

The sooner the referendum campaign starts the better!

Encouraging polls for the “Yes” Campaign

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 03:  Yes campaigners...
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The Sunday Business Post and the Sunday Independent carry some good news for those hoping that the referendum on the Fiscal Compact will be passed in Ireland.

According to the Red C Poll in the Sunday Business Post 44% of voters say they will vote “yes”, with 29% committed to a “no” vote. 26% do not know. This is going to be where the focus will be on the way the “do not knows” split closer to the election, but excluding the “Do not knows” he yes side have 60% to 40% for the no.

In the Millward Brown Lansdowne Poll in the Sunday Independent the response was 37% “Yes” to 26% “No”. That left 15% in the “Do no know” column and 21% in the “It depends” column. The “it depends” column is interesting and I hope the poll did ask further questions on it so more on that tomorrow.

When you exclude the “Do not knows” and the “it depends” you get a similar 59% Yes and 41% no.

So while the Yes camp is certainly the larger camp, any yes campaign should be wary of any complacency and of course should learn the lessons of Nice 1 and Lisbon 1 referenda.

Michael Martin also last night firmly committed Fianna Fail to supporting the Yes campaign in his Ard Fheis speech and got a round of applause showing that there does not seem to be a split in Fianna Fail on Europe.

The Sunday Business Post/Red C poll also asked about party support and got the following results:

  • Fine Gael 30% (NC)
  • Labour 16% (+2)
  • Fianna Fail 17% (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 18% (+1)
  • Others 19% (-2)

Sinn Fein now are the 2nd most popular party in the state in two successive polls, the first being the Behaviours and Attitudes poll in last weeks Sunday Times. It will be interesting if this weekends Fianna Fail Ard Fheis will change that.

Ireland for Europe still in the Red!

Ireland for Europe
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I got an email today from Ireland for Europe. I really wasn’t expecting to be getting an email from them.

It turns out that Ireland for Europe are still in existence as they are in a debt of about €150,000. They are blaming the spending of the no side for this.

So to tackle this they are organising an event. An €160 a head one!! I dont see many people signing up for this one!

I reproduce the email below.

Dear friend,Under the leadership of Pat Cox, Ireland for Europe ran a very successful Lisbon campaign and we collected significant funds through various fund raising activities. However, with the late escalation of the ‘No’ campaign we found it necessary to intensify our campaign efforts during the last two weeks and this has resulted in a campaign deficit of circa €150,000. We are addressing this with various activities.

One significant fund raising activity we are planning is a pre St.Patricks Day Gala Dinner on the 16th March 2010  to which we would hope to attract a wide range of people and the civic society groupings who have clearly benefited from the resounding Yes vote. Plans are at an early stage but we do plan to have a keynote speaker and suitable entertainment. Apart from being a fund raising event with tables of ten at €1600 per table (€160 per head), we plan that it will be a great Social evening celebrating the outcome of the referendum.

We would be grateful if you would note the date and event in your Diary and help us make a great success of the evening by selling tables for the Dinner. Fionnuala Keane (  will be coordinating table/ticket sales and she will be pleased to advise you as required.  We will confirm programme details shortly but kindly reserve your table now!

Ireland for Europe was the coming together of Groups from throughout the country in a focused and concerted effort to do what was right for Ireland. You might feel that your participation in this final event will help bring to a conclusion this great National effort and to harness the energy for continuing engagement.

Best Regards,

Pat Cox, DirectorBrigid Laffan, Chairperson

Brendan Halligan, National Campaign Coordinator


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67% YES!!

I am delighted, I am ecstatic, I am over the moon!!! The result today is unbelievable. At the start of the campaign, I said it could be a 60-40 yes vote if we worked hard. Last week I would have said 55-45 would be the best we could hope for! To see the result today was just amazing.

Thank you everyone who voted Yes. Thank you to everyone in all the Yes Groups who campaigned. Thank you to everyone who campaigned with me. Thank You to those on the other side who could hold a reasoned debate (thats you Gregg!)

With Lisbon overwith we can start to move on now. Europe can work better (after the Poles and Czechs ratify of course) and maybe we can get things working here (but that may take a General Election).

See RTÉ for the full results

I am gald its all over. Now life can get back to normal!

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Highest Poster in Ireland?

A friend sent me this photo of what we believe is the highest poster in Ireland on Lisbon. It is located at the Top of Coom 1045 feet above sea level, on the Cork Kerry Border in the Muscraí Gaeltacht.

Highest poster in Ireland?
Highest poster in Ireland

Is there any that beat it?

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Lisbon Art


This is artwork is by an Irish Artist who has licensed the work to Generation Yes Cork for use during the Yes Campaign. I like it.

Are You Registered To Vote?

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The deadline to register on the electoral register for the October 2nd referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is fast approaching. You have until September 15th to register. So head on over to to make sure you are registered and down. If you arent on the register download form RFA2 (PDF), fill in and send to the Franchise Department in your local council by 5:00pm on September 15th you will be included on the register. That is to say it must be in the office by that time, so do it by Friday to ensure you get on the register.

Dont let others use your vote! Make sure you are registered and vote!

  • The First Web-Roundup of Lisbon II is here!! (
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Canvass Diary: Day 1 of Lisbon II

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Today was my first day out on the canvass trail for the Lisbon II referendum. We were in Farran Woods this morning canvassing before a triathlon. There was a good crowd there and we received a very positive reaction.

Lots of people were willing to engage with us. One guy came up and quizzed me and why I thought we should vote yes and he complemented me on my knowledge of the Treaty. Little does he know, thats what I am eating sleep and drinking!

Of course there were a few people who were opposed to the treaty, and there was some friendly banter. There was one guy who was convinced that if the 3 major parties were agreeing then it couldnt be right! Another person was opposed to us being there as sport and politics shouldnt mix, but Lisbon actually gives the EU a supporting role in sport so to me it was a good place to be!

It was an excellent first canvass in my opinion and it did re-ignite my faith for a YES vote, which was down following Friday’s poll.

Coming home we met some COIR campaigners in Cork City and they were handing out literature, and we searched it for something true (I really don’t mind genuine reasons, but COIR’s aren’t genuine), and we couldn’t find any! When we challenged one of the campaigners on the Tax issue, he did not understand the veto and kept going on about voting strength. I think I need to send a dictionary to COIR.

I will be canvassing again later this week in Cork City as well as attending a few other events. Hopefully it will go as well as today!

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Lisbon slowly taking over my life

Between trying to write a speech for the European Symposium next Tuesday as well as attending various meetings and events in the lead up to the Lisbon Referendum. As well as organising Generation Yes Events in Cork, I haven’t really had a lot of time for blogging.

On top of that I am going back to college!! Its crazy! I am afraid this old blog here is going to be slightly abondoned as I concentrate my blogging efforts over on but if anything non-Lisbon comes my way, it will be posted here.

Please bear with me and service will be returned to normal after the election!

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Monday Links – 17/8/09

L' Oceanographic
Image by Iabcstm via Flickr

A bit late in the day then normal but still at least its getting done!

A friend has started blogging and she takes a look at racism in Ireland

Jason O’Mahoney has the improved Spoofers Guide to the Lisbon treaty

Beruit is getting on the Map, the openstreet map that is. Cool idea

Joe points out that us Eurobloggers are suffering an identity crisis!

Welcome to NAMAland

Why we love google, twitter and texting, we are hardwired for it!

Top 20 Northern Ireland blogs

Bryan looks at Mexico and its haters in the States

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