Don’t take Yes vote for granted, warns Eamon Ryan

Undecideds will determine result of same sex marriage referendum, Green leader says

Taking a Yes vote for granted in the upcoming marriage equality referendum will not see a positive result for the government, the leader of the Green Party has warned.

Speaking during the 'Limerick Spring Festival of Politics and Ideas' taking place in Limerick this weekend, Eamon Ryan said tackling the concerns around family was central to securing a Yes result on May 22 next.

Stressing the importance of reasoned debate, Mr Ryan said the result will be determined by the ‘undecided’ and warned that unless the Yes side listen to these voters concerns, they will default to a No vote.

“If we do take the Yes vote for granted we risk losing it. You have to listen to the other side and we have to look at those who are undecided. We also have to confront the family argument on the No side if we want the Yes side to win,” he said.


Calling for an immediate full public debate on the concerns around children, Mr Ryan said nothing is certain when it comes to predicting a result.

“One third will vote Yes no matter what, and one third will vote No, but let us have a debate on family to get the remaining 30 per cent over the line...We have got to confront the No family argument to win the Yes side,” he said.

‘We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for’ is the tag line for this year’s Limerick Spring Festival of Politics and Ideas, which has returned to the city for its second year this weekend.

The three day itinerary included 15 events ranging from big political debates to music and film premieres, art workshops, pop up protests, and political theatre and satire.

The festival started life in 2014 as one of the City of Culture Made in Limerick projects and received funding to help stage and promote events.

One of the highlights of the weekend was “The Big Debate” on Saturday which included a high profile panel of speakers tackle the question “Where does the Power Lie?”

Among the speakers was Philippe Legrain, author of The European Spring and the former the former advisor to European Commission President Manuel Barroso.

Speaking about the future of Greece in the Eurozone, Mr Le Gran, who previously stated publicly that Ireland was treated appallingly by the ECB during the banking crisis, said the best solution for Greece is to stay but only under the correct conditions.

“I think that the best situation would be for Greece to remain debt relief by remaining within the Eurozone that is the best option.

“That said if Germany isn’t willing to compromise and Greece is not willing to push things far enough in order to obtain debt relieve I think it would would be better off outside the Eurozone than staying in on the current terms.”

He said if Greece left the Eurozone it would be very disruptive for Greece in the immediate future but in a short period you would have a country with much lower debt and freedom to set its own policies.

Mr Legrain warned that any departure by Greece would have graver consequences for the rest of Europe as it would create an “uncertainty premium” for any other potentially crisis hit country, which would deter investment.

“Obviously if Greece were doing well outside the Euro it’s likely that other countries might want to leave too, ” he said.