Fifty five NUI, Galway staff cannot claim to speak on behalf of the university on the Lisbon Treaty and come across as a self-appointed ‘educated elite’ telling the people what to do.
This is the view of Independent councillor Catherine Connolly, who has rounded on the recent advertisements and statement from 55 NUI, Galway staff members calling for a Yes vote to Lisbon.
She described the statement and adverts as “shocking and unacceptable” as the 55 signatories constitutes less than three per cent of NUIG staff which totals 2,569. As a result, she says, the signatories could not speak “on behalf of the staff of NUIG”.
She also said the adverts “failed to clarify” whether other members of staff had been asked to sign and if the entire exercise meant that “a professor’s view would be more important than a cleaner’s view”. She also asked if staff supporting a No vote would be allowed to publish a similar advertisement and statement without facing “serious repercussions” for doing so. She also asked who paid for the advertisement.
Cllr Connolly pointed out that the statement and advert did not cite “a single article in the treaty” as a reason to support Lisbon. “The 55 staff members quite clearly consider themselves the ‘educated elite’ and people of influence whose opinions not only matter but should be followed,” she said.
Cllr Connolly also reminded the staff members that at a recent meeting of the Literary and Debating Society Debate, the majority of those present, who were students, voted for the motion ‘No means No!’ regarding the issue of a whether or not there should be a second Lisbon vote.