| 19.6°C Dublin

Shatter is warned not to turn off voters over referendum

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter was warned yesterday about his "partisan" comments turning off Yes voters in the upcoming EU referendum.

Mr Shatter was advised to "say little about the treaty" for the next six weeks. Mr Shatter is already partly blamed for losing the referendum on Oireachtas powers last year.

Fianna Fail's Timmy Dooley said Mr Shatter's comments on the EU referendum were already causing difficulties.

Mr Dooley said he was trying to be positive about the referendum, but he had to address the "partisan political speech" made by Mr Shatter.

"For the next six weeks, pro-European parties which believe it is important to ratify the treaty must desist from engaging in political sniping on this issue," he said.

Followed

Mr Dooley said European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton began the partisanship with remarks in an interview and these were followed by the statement made by Mr Shatter. "Such contributions infuriate Fianna Fail party members who are working to ensure we get our supporters out to vote in favour of the treaty," he said.

"It would be helpful if those ministers who tend to put their feet in their mouths when speaking on various issues were to say little about the treaty in the next six weeks," he said.

The Government comfortably passed the legislation required to hold the referendum yesterday.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny got the go-ahead for funding for the referendum, which will cost a total of €17m.

That includes €2.2m for the Referendum Commission, €2m for the government information campaign, and the remainder will go towards polling cards, polling stations and the other costs of running the referendum.

Irish Independent