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McDonald to seek clarification from Broadcasting Commission on referendum obligations

5 August, 2009


Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has expressed concern at a report from the Broadcasting Commission today stating that broadcsters will no longer be obliged to provide equal airtime for both sides of the upcoming second referendum campaign on the Lisbon Treaty. Ms. McDonald said any attempt to dilute the media opportunities for either side would subvert the democratic nature of the referendum.

Speaking this evening Ms. McDonald said:

"I am alarmed at the report coming from the Broadcasting Commission today which seems to suggest that equal airtime will not be afforded to both sides of the upcoming second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with both the Broadcasting Commission and the Referendum Commission to seek clarification on this matter.

"Any attempt to dilute the media opportunities for either side of this debate would subvert the democratic nature of the referendum. It must be remembered that, while the majority of political parties supported the Lisbon Treaty last time round, the majority of the Irish people were opposed to it as the result of the referendum proved. So to provide equal airtime to each party rather than to each side of the debate will quite obviously provide a disproportionate and unfair advantage to the yes side.

"Any support from the Government or parties on the yes side for this type of arrangement would show that they will go to extreme lengths to avoid a full and proper debate on the content of the treaty." ENDS

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