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Members of the No campaign pictured earlier this month Photocall Ireland

Fianna Fáil lashes out at 'arrogance' of government over inquiries referendum

The government has said it’s disappointed that the Oireachtas inquiries referendum has been defeated, while Fianna Fáil has said that the public response is ‘loud and clear’.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS expressed its disappointment after the referendum on Oireachtas inquiries was defeated yesterday.

In a statement issued last night the passing of the referendum on judges’ pay was welcomed while the ‘narrow defeat’ of the 30th amendment was described as disappointing.

The government has said that it acknowledges and accepts the people’s democratic decision, and that it will “reflect and carefully consider the outcome of this referendum”.

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Dara Calleary has lashed out at what he calls the “extreme arrogance” of the government on the issue of the Oireachtas inquiries referendum, particularly in the last few days of the campaign.

Calleary said that Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s dismissal of the concerns of eight former Attorneys General was “breathtaking” and he said that the “public’s response has been loud and clear”.

Shatter yesterday suggested that the referendum wasn’t passed because of a lack of understanding of the issue, and because media attention had been focused on the presidential campaign. He also said that the issue of judicial pay had a ‘far longer lead in’ in terms of discussion.

Yesterday the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin hinted in an interview (before the results of the referendums were known) that if the Oireachtas Committee Constitutional amendment received a ‘No’ vote, it might not be the end of it. Howlin spoke about ‘thinking again’ about how to get the reform agenda back on track.

Minister Shatter has welcome the outcome of the referendum on judges’ pay, saying that it was “fundamentally about fairness and ensuring that our judiciary were not perceived as immune from the financial difficulties affecting the State”.

Howlin hints that if Committee amendment doesn’t pass… it won’t be the end of it

Amendment on Oireachtas inquiries is defeated

Referendum on judges’ pay is passed with huge majority

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