Friday 19 October 2018

Rival camps clash over claim of threat to toddlers' freedom

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

'NO' campaign leader Declan Ganley, of Libertas, sparked a bitter row yesterday as he continued to insist the Lisbon Treaty would result in the detention of three-year-olds.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said Mr Ganley's assertion was the "most outrageous claim yet" in the referendum campaign and nothing but "baseless scaremongering".

According to Mr Ganley, the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights as part of the reform treaty would give powers enabling children over the age of three to be put in detention for educational purposes.

Mr Gilmore said the adoption of the Charter would actually greatly enhance the rights of children. "Mr Ganley's comments are part of the increasingly hysterical chorus of baseless claims we are hearing from the No campaign," he said.

But Libertas spokesperson Caroline Simons stood by the comments and claimed Mr Gilmore hadn't read the Charter. "Mr Ganley is correct. The Charter specifically allows the detention of children for educational supervision," she said.

Progressive Democrats leader Ciaran Cannon attacked Mr Ganley's stance on the Lisbon Treaty as "Ganley guff".

Meanwhile, Green Party leader John Gormley will today tell an audience at the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival, in Wales, that a 'No' vote could deal a "crushing blow" to efforts to save the planet. Mr Gormley will claim that a 'No' vote could "derail" the fight against climate change.

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