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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

SF challenges legality of Fiscal Compact website, says it is 'incomplete'

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary McDonald said that is lacking in information as the party seeks legal advice on whether or not it is in breach of the McKenna judgement.

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN HAS raised questions about whether the government’s website on the Fiscal Compact treaty is legal with the party’s deputy leader saying today the website is “to say the least of it, incomplete”.

The party has said it will seek legal advice on whether or not is in breach of the McKenna judgement of 1995 which outlawed the use of public finances to promote one side or the other in a referendum campaign.

Mary Lou McDonald said this morning that her party supported the move to distribute a copy of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union to every home in the country but raised questions about other aspects of the campaign.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, McDonald said that the government was “undermining the role of the referendum commission” in its actions so far.

“We need to be very clear about this, the goverment has absolutely no right to use public monies to advocate for a Yes vote,” she said.

“That is illegal. Of course as individuals they have a perfect right to debate and put their view across.”

McDonald said that the website was factually incomplete and was missing information in relation to the treaty’s debt brake and its effect on public spending.

She said there was no information on the cost of the treaty and said it doesn’t set out the kind of sanctions and penalties that could be imposed on State if it breaches the deficit rules.

“I think the website, to say the least of it, is incomplete. It doesn’t explicitly say vote Yes but the full import of the information on the website is skewed in that direction,” she added.

ICTU meets today to determine Fiscal Compact stance

The Fiscal Compact Referendum: What are we voting on and why?>

Translated: The Fiscal Compact rewritten in layman’s terms

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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