No side say Government has questions to answer
The Government has questions to answer in light of the Supreme Court decision on the children’s rights referendum despite it being carried today, campaigners on the No side said.
Speaking at the count centre in Dublin Castle today, Solicitor Malachy Steenson said a challenge to the referendum was “up for discussion.”
“There are huge questions this State has to answer. If I was the Minister in this current Government I wouldn’t be too complacent because a damning indictment of their policies has been delivered today,” he said.
“Before the No campaign started, opinion polls had the No vote at 4%. We got that up to 42% and faced with what we were faced with - the might of the State and the so-called NGOS and civil society who were all supporting this with huge resources a couple of dozen people with no resources brought this to 42%. 445,000 people agreed with us.”
Mr Steenson called the low turnout a “damning indictment of the State and the policies pursued by the Government."
“On the one hand they’re saying they’re concerned about the rights of children and that children will be paramount and on the other they’re preparing a budget in the next couple of weeks which will slash the living standards of ordinary families up and down this country and push more and more people into poverty.”
“There are a number of key questions that have to be answered. The unfortunate reality is that the State effectively ignored the logic of the Supreme Court decision because logic would say put off the referendum because the damage was done but the State seems to believe that it can do what it wants,” he said.
No campaigner Kathy Sinnott has called for the resignation of Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald following the Children’s Referendum.
“The amount of people voting no shows that the leadership in this country is out of touch. Heads should roll after this. Frances Fitzgerald’s position is untenable.”
“I am disappointed the referendum was carried yet it was a magnificent No vote. People realised the state had misinformed them and felt uneasy about the referendum. There was no real information given about it and the debate surrounding it was left too late in the day. Considering all the major political parties called for a Yes vote, the amount of people that voted No was significant.
Ms Sinnott said she hoped that the result of the referendum would be challenged.
“I hope there is a voter out there who is willing to take the challenge. I will help them in any way I can. This referendum is unsafe in legal terms because the result does not represent a fair choice on behalf of the people. Rules were broken by the Government and they spent our money on a one sided and misinformed campaign to ensure a Yes vote.”