Contradictory result feared


The possibility of a contradictory result in the two referendums proposed for the Republic when the Northern talks conclude had not "all been thought out," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Ahern said the questions to be put to the people on the proposals arising from the talks, and on amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, were consequent on each other. "You could not allow for a position where you would get that kind of a situation," he added.

He was replying to the Fine Gael leader, Mr John Bruton, who said people might vote yes to an agreement arising from the talks but no to a particular change in Articles 2 and 3.

"The issue of having two separate questions has been inherent to this process from the very beginning, in the sense that the proposal from John Hume at all times was that there should be a joint referendum North and South on the agreement. There has also been a separate proposal that there would be changes in Articles 2 and 3 as well," he added.