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Referendum Commission tells An Post: stop adding No leaflets to booklet

People across the country have complained after receiving No leaflets from Nigel Farage’s group tucked inside the Referendum Commission booklet.

The UKIP leaflet (top) alongside the Referendum Commission leaflet
The UKIP leaflet (top) alongside the Referendum Commission leaflet
Image: Journal.ie reader

THE REFERENDUM COMMISSION has asked An Post staff to stop inserting any other leaflets into its referendum guide which is being delivered to every household in the country.

The Commission made the call following complaints from people who received a leaflet from the EFD group – which includes UKIP – advocating a No vote tucked inside the Referendum Commission guide, which is supposed to be neutral and independent.

The Referendum Commission confirmed that it has received complaints from most parts of the country about the EFD leaflet inside its booklet.

The EFD, which stands for Europe of Freedom and Democracy, is a eurosceptic grouping in the European Parliament led by Nigel Farage. Farage and other members of the group have been campaigning in Ireland for a No vote.

A spokesperson said the Referendum Commission has contacted An Post on more than one occasion to ask it to ensure that its staff do not put the two leaflets together.

“It would seem An Post staff are putting the [EFD] leaflet into our handbook in the same way as you might get a pizza delivery menu tucked inside other leaflets,” said a spokesperson for the Referendum Commission.

A spokesman for An Post said that the time scale and the operation involved in delivering 1.7 million leaflets may have led to the two leaflets being bundled together, but said that it should not happen.

The spokesperson said that An Post staff are aware of the guidelines around delivering election material and have been instructed not to bundle literature.

Both An Post and the Referendum Commission ruled out any suggestion of malicious intent.

The EFD group is spending an estimated €200,000 on distributing the leaflets by post to every household in Ireland.

Fine Gael councillor Neale Richmond criticised An Post, saying it had secured a contract worth €190,000 to deliver the Referendum Commission leaflets to all households in the country.

“This should not have happened and this gaffe by An Post undermines the important, neutral role of the Referendum Commission,” he said.

The Referendum Commission says it is asking anyone who receives the two leaflets tucked inside each other to contact the Commission with the name of the road they live on in order to track where the mistake is being made.

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