Friday, September 25, 2009

Republican Councillors Against the Lisbon Treaty

Seven republican elected representatives from across the country today [September 24] released a joint statement calling on the electorate of the Twenty-Six Counties to reject the Lisbon Treaty again on October 2nd. (See full text of joint statement below.)

Republican Councillors Against Lisbon

The seven councillors, Martin Connolly from Down, John Dwyer from Wexford, Louise Minihan from Dublin, Barry Monteith from Tyrone, Cieran Perry from Dublin, Thomas Pringle from Donegal and Bernice Swift from Fermanagh slammed both the Lisbon Treaty itself and the anti-democratic method by which it is being proposed to bring it into effect. At a press conference in Dublin city centre this morning six of the councillors outlined why they believe the Lisbon Treaty is a bad treaty for Ireland and for Europe.

Speaking at the press conference éirígí’s Barry Monteith said: “éirígí was delighted to participate in this initiative, particularly as one of the key points being made today related to the fact that 1.8 million people living in the Six Counties have been denied the right to vote on Lisbon.

“Regardless of the content of the Lisbon Treaty, and the content is appalling, the decision to accept or reject it should not be taken while the Six Counties remains occupied by a foreign power. All decisions on further integration into the EU, or otherwise, should only be taken after national sovereignty has been restored. To do otherwise is fundamentally anti-democratic.”

Barry concluded, “I would appeal to the people of the Twenty-Six Counties to remember their 1.8 million fellow citizens living under British rule when they go the polls on October 2nd. By voting No they can send a very powerful message to the Dublin government – ‘you might have forgotten about the Six Counties but we have not.’”

éirígí activist Councillor Louise Minihan echoed Barry’s appeal: “The Lisbon Treaty is designed to bring us one step closer to a federal united states of Europe. A Europe based on a foundation of neo-liberal capitalism. NAMA, savage cutbacks, the privatisation of healthcare and education and the introduction of water charges are just a few examples of what we can expect if the Lisbon Treaty is passed. On October 2nd we in the Twenty-Six Counties have the opportunity to lead a European wide fight-back against the ruling elite who created the current economic disaster. We need to take that opportunity and vote No to Lisbon”

Republican Councillors Against Lisbon Joint Statement

September 24, 2009

We, the undersigned, represent communities across Ireland.

Our collective constituencies in Donegal, Down, Dublin, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Wexford form a broad cross-section of urban and rural Irish society. We have come together to add our combined voice to the campaign to defeat the Lisbon Treaty.

It is our view that the Lisbon Treaty itself and the process by which it is proposed to bring it into effect are deeply anti-democratic. Of the 500 million people living in the EU, just 3 million people in the Twenty-Six counties have been allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

In the Irish context, this democratic deficit is further exacerbated by the fact that 1.8 million Irish citizens living in the British-occupied Six Counties have been denied a vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

In June 2008, the electorate of the Twenty-Six Counties voted by a substantial majority to reject the Lisbon Treaty. In forcing a second referendum, the Dublin government and the European political establishment have demonstrated their complete contempt for democracy.

We represent communities that are being devastated by the current economic crisis, a crisis which was created by the very same economic policies that are enshrined within the Lisbon Treaty. The administrations in Leinster House and Stormont continue to slavishly follow these failed and discredited neo-liberal policies that have led Ireland into economic ruin.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, IBEC and other elements of the Yes camp have cynically and falsely claimed that the Lisbon Treaty will deliver jobs and economic recovery. It will deliver no such thing because the Treaty is about neither jobs nor recovery. Nor is it about ‘our place in Europe’. The Lisbon Treaty is about the usurpation of democracy, the privatisation of public services, the undermining of workers’ rights and the militarization of the EU.

As republicans, we believe in the principle of the sovereignty of the people. This principle provides that the people, not the business or political classes, have control over the democratic process and the economic life of the nation.

Lisbon represents a further erosion of this democratic principle. It can and must be stopped. On 2nd October, we are calling on the people in the Twenty-Six Counties to reaffirm their decision of June last year and to once again vote No to the Lisbon Treaty.

Councillor Martin Connolly (Ind)
Councillor John Dwyer (Ind)
Councillor Louise Minihan (éirígí)
Councillor Barry Monteith (éirígí)
Councillor Cieran Perry (Ind)
Councillor Thomas Pringle (Ind)
Councillor Bernice Swift (Ind)

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