Sat, May 31, 2008, 01:00

More news and diary dates.

Fianna Fáil - Saturday

TAOISEACH BRIAN Cowen will be in Tullamore with former taoiseach Garret FitzGerald. Canvass begins at the Bridge House Hotel at 11.30am

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern will campaign in Dundalk and Minister of State Mary Wallace will be in various towns in Meath and Louth.

Ten members of Ógra Fianna Fáil, with Senator Mark Daly, will take part in a parachute jump in support of the treaty. The jump will take place at Silvermines, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, at 11am.

Fine Gael - Saturday

Party leader Enda Kenny will canvass in Castlebar at 11am and Ballinrobe at 2pm.

Labour - Saturday

Joe Costello TD will join MEP Proinsias De Rossa to canvass on Henry Street, Dublin, from noon to 1pm.

Party leader Eamon Gilmore will join Joe Costello and Proinsias De Rossa to campaign at Seán O'Casey Bridge, Custom House Quay in Dublin at 2.30pm.

Sinn Féin - Saturday

MEP Mary Lou McDonald will canvass in the north inner city at 11am, Cabra at 12.45pm, and Dundrum shopping centre at 3pm.

Irish Alliance for Europe - Saturday

Launch of the Alliance's "Let's make Europe Work Better" billboard campaign. Arts Council chair Olive Braiden, Special Olympics Ireland chief executive Mary Davis and TV personality Duncan Stewart will attend. Herbert Park, Dublin, at 11.30am.

"The Lisbon Treaty - a Modest Proposal or a Faustian Pact" debate featuring European Affairs Minister Dick Roche, Declan Ganley of Libertas and Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins.

The event is part of the Trim Swift Festival taking place in Trim, Co Meath, this weekend at 7.30pm.

Fianna Fáil - Sunday

Brian Cowen will canvass at Kilbeggan racecourse, Co Westmeath.

Fine Gael - Sunday

Enda Kenny will conduct church canvasses throughout Co Mayo.

Labour - Sunday

Eamon Gilmore and Liz McManus TD will conduct a church canvass in Bray, Co Wicklow, from 11 am to 1pm. Joe Costello will canvass in his Dublin Central constituency from 9am until 5pm.

Sinn Féin - Sunday

Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will canvass in Crumlin, Dublin 12, at 2pm.

MEP Bairbre de Brún and Senator Pearse Doherty will canvass at the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta, Gleann Cholm Cille, Co Donegal.

No vote needed to 'copperfasten tax rate'

Economist and former Government adviser Ray Kinsella says a No vote is needed to copperfasten Ireland's corporate tax rate.

Describing the Lisbon Treaty as a "re-sprayed EU constitution", Mr Kinsella said that he was voting against it, "not out of any anti-European bias, but on an evidence-based appraisal" of the treaty text.

"A No vote in the referendum is essential to preserve Ireland's competitiveness and living standards in a most difficult economic environment. But no political party is saying this," Mr Kinsella, a senior lecturer at the Smurfit School of Business at UCD, added.

Minister says cluster-bomb treaty shows Ireland can take a lead

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin hopes the successful negotiation in Dublin this week of an international agreement banning cluster munitions will help the Yes campaign.

Speaking before the draft charter was formally adopted in Dublin yesterday, Mr Martin said: "It reminds us, as we prepare to vote on the Lisbon reform treaty, that as a strong self-confident country we have nothing to fear from closer involvement with our neighbours and partners working together to find solutions to international problems, be they cluster munitions or global warming."

The new Ireland, he added, is showing that it can take a lead on the world stage. "It is our European Union membership which has helped give us that confidence and that platform."

Sepp Blatter lines out for treaty to help him pass player plan

THE LISBON Treaty got support from an unlikely source this week when FIFA president Sepp Blatter said it may help him pursue his controversial "6+5 rule" plan.

The annual congress of FIFA, soccer's world governing body, has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal which would limit the number of foreign players in a match line-up to five. The EU says this would contravene its rules on the free movement of workers.

Blatter told the congress in Sydney he did not want to go against existing laws. "We want to use the legal basis of the Treaty of Lisbon, which acknowledges the specificity of sport and its structures and organisations, and comes into force on January 1st, 2009.

"We want to go for consultation, not confrontation."