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Referendum roundup: 16 days to go

Austerity treaty, stability treaty or somewhere in between? TheJournal.ie keeps you up to date with our evening Fiscal Compact referendum bulletin.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore tries to get first past the post(er).
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore tries to get first past the post(er).
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

EVERY EVENING, THEJOURNAL.IE brings you the latest news and campaign moves, squabbles and – hopefully – useful tidbits of information as we face into the 31 May Fiscal Compact referendum.

(If you just want to make up your mind by yourself, you can read TheJournal.ie‘s layman’s guide to the treaty).


  • It looks like TV3 won’t be hosting the big boys in a live referendum debate after Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed this afternoon that he won’t participate in any debate on the station with Gerry Adams. Kenny had initially said he just “does not do the Vincent Browne programme”. When TV3 offered to replace Browne with political editor Ursula Halligan, Kenny put that under “consideration”. Now though, it’s a no go altogether, which TV3 called “regrettable”.
  • A debate that IS going ahead is The Last Word Europe Debate, moderated by Matt Cooper, to be broadcast live on his Today FM show this Thursday, 4.30-7pm. TheJournal.ie will be liveblogging the debate from the Irish Life building in Dublin. The line-up? On the ‘No’ side: UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage; Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald; John Douglas of Mandate trade union. On the ‘Yes’ side: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin; Nicola Byrne, chief executive of 11890; a yet unconfirmed Labour Party minister.
  • We learned this week that Declan Ganley, who campaigned for a ‘No’ vote in the Lisbon referendum, is joining the fray on the ‘No’ side of things again this time. He wrote about his reasons for joining the campaign on TheJournal.ie this morning.
  • Bad news for Shane Ross and others who had called for a delay – the Referendum Commission has officially stated that the vote cannot be postponed.
  • The deputy director of the Labour Party’s ‘Yes’ campaign, Dominic Hannigan, made a niche callout this morning: he said farmers will benefit from a ‘Yes’ vote if it leads to agricultural exports growing. (The IFA endorsed this earlier in the month, as did Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin yesterday at a cattle mart in Bandon, Co Cork.)


The Communications Department of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group sent a press invite round to the launch of their leaflet supporting a ‘No’ vote, which they say will be delivered to every household in the country. They gave us this advice in a note at the end:

4 or 5 MEPs from EFD Group shall be there. Should be good for photo op with good looking Danish mep and female assistant.

Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast, said today that the leaflet is a “piece of propaganda”.


If you haven’t seen this video already, Enda Kenny will probably be relieved. (Video: Seansbarathlone/Youtube)

And if you haven’t heard this bit of audio, captured by the Westmeath Independent, he will probably be even more relieved.


Justice Minister Alan Shatter backed previous Government comments today to say that delaying the referendum would not be in the interests of the country. He ended with this:

To those opposed to the treaty or uncertain of whether to support this international insurance policy to protect our future, I say it is important to remember that it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.

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Tomorrow: Jonah and the Whale.


In the ‘No’ corner - Joe Higgins TD, Cllr Melissa Halpin and Paul Murphy MEP of the United Left Alliance:

In the ‘Yes corner - Ciara Conway TD, Aodhan O Riordain TD, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Dominic Hannigan TD:

Photos by Sam Boal and Sasko Lazarov of Photocall Ireland.

Read in full: The Fiscal Compact treaty in layman’s terms (PDF)

In full: TheJournal.ie‘s coverage of the Fiscal Compact referendum >

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