Sorca Clarke, Mullingar’s senior republican, has accused the Government of “insulting our intelligence” as she started the Sinn Féin 'No to Lisbon 2' campaign in Mullingar on Wednesday (August 25 ).
Speaking at the campaign launch, Ms Clarke said that as a republican she believed in government of the people, by the people, for the people but that: “The people have spoken and they have voted against the Lisbon Treaty yet this Fianna Fáil /Green government wishes to subvert the wishes of the Irish people by forcing another vote on the treaty. By doing so they are insulting our intelligence and making a mockery of the democratic process.
“The Government and the Yes side are claiming that the so-called legally binding guarantees secured at the European Council meeting in June have addressed the concerns of the Irish people about this treaty.”
Ms Clarke believes these guarantees are nothing more than a series of clarifications of some aspects of the Lisbon Treaty.
“They do not alter the text of the treaty in any way nor do they change the impact that the treaty will have on Ireland and the EU. On October 2 we will be voting on exactly the same treaty, with exactly the same consequences for Ireland and the EU, as we did last year.
“These consequences include the erosion of Irish neutrality, the weakening of Ireland’s position in Europe, the loss of the Irish Commissioner, the erosion of workers’ rights and public services, the loss of an automatic right to a referendum on future treaty changes, continued participation in the European Atomic Energy Community, advancing the cause of tax harmonisation, the promotion of common foreign and defence policies and the militarisation of Europe and much, much more.
“The Lisbon Treaty was a bad deal for Ireland when it was presented to the people last year and it remains the very same bad deal.
“Sinn Féin will continue to fight for a better deal for Ireland and for Europe. In order to get a better deal we must reject this treaty once again. I am calling on the voters to do just that.”