Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has today slammed the offer by Europe for Ireland and Ryanair to fly supporters of the Lisbon Treaty into Ireland free of charge.
“The Europe for Ireland website is today advertising to fly supporters of the Lisbon Treaty to Ireland free of charge with Ryanair to canvass for the Treaty, with Europe for Ireland offering to pay any additional flight taxes.
“Their website asks people if they are ‘Interested in traveling to Dublin to work for the Lisbon Treaty?’ and that, ‘Ryanair have offered us some free seats for people who volunteer to canvass for the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland.’
“The offer also makes clear that anyone interested ‘must agree in writing to canvass for a ‘Yes’ vote while in Dublin. ‘We will put you in touch with one of the relevant organisations in Dublin. (If you do not turn up to canvass, your return flight may be jeopardised’.’
“The ‘Yes’ side is clearly resorting to bribery in the final days of the campaign.
“Already we have seen major corporate interests spending enormous amounts of money on the Lisbon Treaty campaign, with Ryanair and IMB spending up to €1 million between them.
“The European Commission office in Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs have also spent between them €1million in ‘informing’ people about the work of the EU in the final weeks of the referendum campaign.
“It is estimated that the ‘Yes’ campaign will spend €10 for every €1 spent by the ‘No’ side.
“Not content with spending massive amounts of money the government and their supporters on the Yes side are now trying to bribe people with offers of cheap flights.” ENDS