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Sinn Féin 'will consider legal challenge' to force EU referendum

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said the party would take the Government to court “if a credible legal challenge can be mounted”.

Sinn Féin's Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin's Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN WILL consider challenging the Government in court if ministers decide not to hold a referendum on the proposed new EU treaty, it has confirmed today.

Foreign affairs spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said the party would seek legal advice when the final wording of the treaty is released later this week.

“If a credible legal challenge can be mounted then we will actively pursue that course of action,” he said.

The government does not have a mandate to sign up to a treaty that will have such serious implications for the future. They must do the right thing and hold a referendum.

Mac Lochlainn was responding to a Red C/Sunday Business Post poll which showed 72 per cent support for a referendum on any proposed treaty. “It is clear that the people want to have their say on this matter,” he said.

The Government has said repeatedly that it will take legal advice from the Attorney General in order to determine whether a referendum is necessary. But Mac Lochlainn said:

Sinn Féin believes that the Government must hold a referendum on the Eurozone austerity treaty irrespective of the legal advice given by the Attorney General [...] The treaty, if ratified, will have a profound impact on the Irish economy and Irish people for decades to come.

More: Seventy per cent want EU treaty referendum, new poll shows>

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Michael Freeman

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