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French admission on EU Constitution should act as warning to Irish Government

25 May, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today challenged the Irish Government to "publicly commit itself to ruling out a re-run of the EU Constitution referendum if it is defeated by people in the 26 Counties".

Ms McDonald made her comments after the French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that a re-run of the EU Constitution referendum was Œnot a perspective that France could accept.‚ Mr Raffarin made his comments on television yesterday (Tuesday 24.05.05) before the French people vote on the EU Constitution this coming Sunday, May 29th.

Speaking from Brussels Ms McDonald said:

"Prime Minister Raffarin‚s comments are a clear indication that the French Government will not hold a second referendum if the first fails to be ratified. In comparison, the Irish Government has refused to rule out this possibility. In fact, when questioned on the 12th April 2005 in the Dail, the Taoiseach refused to rule out a second referendum.

"When the Irish Government re-ran the NICE referendum, it was clear that they were more interested in pandering to the elites in Europe, than to the will of the people in this state. This Constitution will have far reaching ramifications for all of Ireland; the people must be sovereign, and not sacrificed for political expediency by this government.

"Sinn Féin will be campaigning for a NO vote on the EU Constitution but if the people vote for the Constitution then we will respect their will. Unfortunately the Irish Government is unwilling to make such a commitment." ENDS

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