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Government should name date for Lisbon Treaty referendum – Doherty

7 February, 2008


Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has said the debate on the 70th anniversary of the constitution should be used by Government parties to name a date for the next referendum to amend the constitution - the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking today the Donegal Senator said, "The 1937 constitution, and in particular the articles in relation to the Family and the position of women, reflect the dominant religious ethos and political philosophy of 1930s Ireland. These articles were controversial even in the 1930s and were widely opposed by women's groups. They marked a definitive break with the promise of equality for all citizens contained in the 1916 Proclamation.

"The whole section of the 1937 Constitution on Fundamental Rights (Articles 40-44), is totally inadequate by today's standards - particularly in view of the international instruments and definitions subsequently developed, and also endorsed by the State.

"This debate should be used by the Government parties to name the date for the next referendum to amend the constitution - the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Incidentally if the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is passed - as it is self amending - it is likely the last time we will vote on an EU Treaty." ENDS

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