Sinn Féin Children Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said claims from Fine Gael and Labour that his party did not pull its weight in the referendum campaign are nonsense and an attempt to deflect attention from the government’s own failures in the campaign.
Speaking this afternoon Deputy Ó Caoláin also said the referendum commission needs to be given adequate time and resources in future referenda and a strong case would need to be made if consideration was to be given to a permanent commission.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“The blame game has well and truly started with government TDs pointing fingers everywhere but at themselves. The reality is that the government’s misuse of public funds in this referendum distorted both the debate and the outcome. I am sure the Supreme Court judgement last week had a profound effect on the voting intentions of many people.
“There is also a lot of anti-government sentiment as a result of broken promises and the austerity programme.
“Rather than playing blame games the government needs to do its own soul searching. Sinn Féin campaigned for a yes vote. For years we have been calling for children’s rights to be enshrined in the Constitution. I was proud to lead our campaign.
“It is clear that the referendum commission needs to be given adequate time and resources to do its job in future referenda. There has been talk of a permanent commission in the wake of this referendum but I think a strong case would need to be made for this given the possibility of long periods without referenda and the costs that would accrue. More important would be the restoration to the Commission of its powers prior to the December 2001 amending legislation, particularly the responsibility of setting out the relevant YES-side and NO-side arguments.” ENDS