Calls for second Lisbon referendum in April


A Fine Gael MEP today called on the Government to hold the second Lisbon Treaty referendum in April.

Colm Burke, representative for Ireland South, was speaking before his party’s European selection convention in Cork later today.

He said: “The current economic crisis has brought home to people, up and down the land, how vital is Ireland’s membership of the European Union.

“It is not alarmist to state that were we not inside the Union our economic plight would mirror that of Iceland, with double digit interest rates and reliance on an International Monetary Fund bale-out.”

Mr Burke said he would like to see the leaders of the main pro-European parties, Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny and Eamonn Gilmore coming together and agreeing a joint policy platform for putting the Lisbon Treaty to the people.

He added: “And to those many frightened and angry voters who want to take out their wrath on the current government for their woeful economic mismanagement I say, you will get your chance in June’s European and local government elections.”

“Ireland cannot afford either internal exile or external association with the only international forum where our national requirements can be effectively addressed,” he said.

Mr Burke said the believed that the outcome of the second Referendum would be positive and he welcomed the work done by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, in articulating the various concerns which had led to many people voting “No” in the last referendum.

Fine Gael announced the nominations of sitting MEP Mr Burke and former GAA president Sean Kelly as candidates competing in the European elections in Munster at their party convention today.