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Irish Government out of step with the people

9 August, 2008

Sinn Féin leaders met today in Dublin for the party's monthly Ard Chomhairle meeting. High on the agenda was the Irish government’s continued failure to address the political realities of the Irish peoples rejection of the Lisbon Treaty for the state and the EU. The party leadership will discuss Sinn Féin’s political roadmap for Lisbon over the coming weeks. Leaders will also discuss the declining economy and will receive an update from the party’s recently established Economic Strategy Group. Discussions will also focus on the outstanding issues surrounding policing and justice in the north and the party’s annual set of accounts will be signed off on before being published next week.

Speaking from the party’s head office Mary Lou McDonald said:

“This weeks alleged comments by President Sarkozy’s on member states sharing Commissioners and the Irish governments response example a government and EU leadership out of step with the people of Ireland and EU wide political consensus. The fact remains that the EU Commission can retain its current make-up of a Commissioner per member state.

“Throughout the Lisbon campaign we argued that every EU member state must retain its own Commissioner.  Clearly the social and economic dynamics and needs of each country within the EU are different. The Irish people supported our view and voted down the Lisbon Treaty. The people like Sinn Féin did not accept that it made political sense to remove an Irish voice from the powerful EU Commission table for 5 out of every fifteen years.

“This floundering around for a way to resuscitate the Treaty is a farce and needs to end. Contrary to what the government would have us believe the Lisbon Treaty is not the end game for Europe. Just this week the Centre for European Reform, who supported the Lisbon Treaty, noted in an assessment of Ireland’s referendum result that the demise of the document would not be catastrophic for the Union as so many leaders would have us believe. The think tank also states that the EU continues to work without the Lisbon Treaty.

“Political leaders both at home and within the EU need to acknowledge once and for all that the Lisbon Treaty is finished. The Irish government has a strong mandate from the people; it simply needs to have the political backbone to use it.” ENDS

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