Wednesday 21 March 2018

Sports stars praised for 'patriotic' campaign

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

SPORTS starts such as Ronan O'Gara, Niall Quinn and Nina Carmody were praised yesterday for their "patriotic" role in the successful Yes campaign.

They signed up to the Alliance for Ireland's Yes campaign -- and ensured that the voices in favour of the treaty were not just politicians.

Alliance campaign director Pat Cox said the sports figures had agreed to do it free of charge.

"They are Irish patriots with practical patriotism when it was necessary to take a stand in the interest of our country," he said.

The former MEP said his group had spent a small six-figure sum on its campaign, which included newspaper advertising, posters and debates.

Other key groups on the Yes side included the Irish Farmers' Association, which argued that passing the treaty would strengthen farmers in the forthcoming EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations.

The business sector groups were strongly in favour -- with IBEC, the Small Firms Association and ISME among the most prominent.

The ICTU and SIPTU did not take a position on the treaty, and some unions were opposed. But it was supported by IMPACT and the Communications Workers' Union.

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