Voting and external influence

 

Sir, – In your article “Irish elections and referendums must be shielded from external influence” (Opinion & Analysis, April 13th), Liz Carolan of the Transparent Referendum Initiative raises some crucial issues on the integrity on Irish elections and referendums. I hope this sparks a wide debate on the matter. However, it was curious that the specific example she used was alleged outside interference by an obscure anti-abortion group (unnamed) from the US. Would it not also have been pertinent to reference the well-publicised legal case involving Amnesty in Ireland getting funds from abroad to help promote the availability of abortion in Ireland in the lead-up to abortion-related referendum of 2018? As acknowledged by Amnesty at the time, the funds related “to a campaign that was targeted at Government to secure a commitment to changing Irish law on abortion” (News, April 10th, 2018).

Any initiatives to promote fairer polls, welcome as they are, will have be scrupulously balanced and impartial if they are to have any real credibility. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN O’REGAN,

Arklow,

Co Wicklow.