We owe vote to this man
THE actions of a Kilkenny man secured the right for three million Irish citizens to vote on behalf of 500 million Europeans in today's Lisbon Treaty referendum.
Ireland is the only country in the EU where citizens are being allowed to vote on the adoption, or not, of the Lisbon Treaty European Constitution.
Raymond Crotty's daughter Mary, and her sister Ann, who has returned from South Africa where she works as a journalist to campaign for a 'No' Vote, explained the pivotal action which their father took and which could now impact on the shape and direction Europe takes in the future.
"The French and Dutch, who were given an opportunity to vote on the European Constitution, voted against it. They are not being given an opportunity to vote on the Lisbon Treaty," she said.
"We are being afforded this right, not because our government has secured it for us, but because our father, Raymond Crotty, took the Irish government to court back in 1986.
"The Supreme Court ruled in that case that in the event of any major change within the EU that impacted upon Ireland's constitution, the government would be obliged to get approval for that change from the Irish people.
"The implications of the current treaty are so wide-ranging that lawyers who worked on our dad's case believe that, if it is implemented, it will be our last EU-related referendum."