Tuesday 12 December 2017

Lisbon 'No' voters hold the key to salvation

Bruce Arnold

The first Lisbon Treaty referendum vote in 2008 was an astonishing expression of the independent popular will in Ireland, rejecting the advice of the three main parties and insisting on an entirely different approach. That voice carried the day and should have been respected.

Even as the votes were being counted, Brian Cowen was planning to undermine the constitutional will of the people. After a second Lisbon Treaty campaign in 2009, filled with fear-mongering, deceit and the involvement of the European Union in a sovereign constitutional issue, the result of that first referendum was reversed.

For most people, these highly significant events swiftly became history. It was assumed that those who twice had voted 'No', were dispersing. The normal nonsense that passes for Irish politics was apparently restored.

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