No camp disappointed by result


Leading members of the anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign have conceded that the referendum has been comprehensively backed by the electorate and expressed their bitter disappointment with today's outcome.

Libertas leader Declan Ganley conceded defeat shortly after 11am. "This is a very convincing win," Mr Ganley told reporters at the main Dublin counting centre in the RDS. "Of course I am disappointed, I think we have made a mistake."

Mr Ganley accused the Yes campaign of playing on the fears of many voters, particular in connection with jobs and the economy. He suggested he would come back to the RDS next October with the Yes for Jobs posers “and see how we are all doing”.

“We have not succeeded but we did tell the truth and that is something I am proud of,” Mr Ganley said. He said he was “proud of the campaign that we ran”. Mr Ganley said he needed time to reflect on what he would do next.

Anti-Lisbon group Cóir, which also played a prominent role in the No campaign, accepted that the referendum would be approved.

The group’s poster campaign attracted a great deal of negative criticism during the campaign – most notably one which suggested the minimum wage could fall to as low as €1.84 an hour. Coir’s spokesman Richard Greene defended the posters and said "people will learn very very soon that what we were saying was the truth”.

Mr Green said he wanted to “sympathise and commiserate with all our people who put in a great effort for the love of their country. We are extremely disappointed that the voice of the people was not heard the first time around."

The vice president of Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald said the vote did not mean that the Government had a mandate for Namaor the upcoming budget "and let them not think that or fall into that false sense of security. People still want change."

Anti-treaty campaigner, Patrica McKenna described the result as “inevitable” but said people had voted “not for the Lisbon Treaty but for economic recovery, jobs and EU membership.”

She claimed the Yes campaign, “outspent the no side by at least a factor of ten to One” and “was funded illegally by the EU Commission, the political groups in the Brussels Parliament and even by the Government itself”. She also insisted that the “so-called ‘independent’ Referendum Commission became a tool for the Yes side.”

According to Socialist MEP Joe Higgins, an "unprecedented, well-financed grand coalition of the political establishment, big business, most of the print media and the EU authorities"  delivered a Yes vote.

He said "bullying and fear" was combined with "extravagant promises about jobs and economic recovery".

He congratulated those voters "who stood up against the intimidation and threats and voted no. I understand the anxiety of many who voted Yes in the hope of better job prospects and security."