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(European Union)

Editorial: We at IMR/OffTheRecord! supported a NO vote on Nice

EU  documents:


  • 2001: Ireland rejects Nice 54/46%
  •     - 2001 Poll result
(Ed note: Emphasis added)

The cost of Nice II - representation
1. The  number of MEPs will be reduced from 15 to 12 (1.6%).

(Pending the joining of Romania and Bulgaria, their seats (50) are being temporarily allocated to existing members, giving Ireland 13 at the present.)
Iit  will probably mean that the number of seats in Constituencies will be reduced, and some boundaries will be adjusted.  This  is a  vexed  question.

Was: 15 seats out of the present 626, (2.4%),
Will be: 12 seats out of  732 (1.6%).
(27 States, incl Romania and Bulgaria).

2.  Weighting of votes in the Council reduced to 2%

Was: 3 out of 87 (3.4%)
Will be: 7 out of 345 (2.0%)
Right  to  veto is a thing of the past. (Jens-Peter Bonde, MEP  Denmark,  in Nice Treaty Explained,, 2001).

3.  We may/may not have a Commissioner.

4.  President of Council, not individual Parliaments, will decide who from shortlist, and will allocate responsibilities.

5.  "Enhanced co-operation" is a euphemism for a two-speed Europe.

With Nice, we are no longer legal equals.  Major matters will be decided by Qualified Majority Voting, greatly extended  from the previous Treaty..

See Treaty of Nice.

More later.

16 Jan 2003


The cost of Nice II - the taxpayer
The re-run of Nice (Nice II) was held on Saturday, 19 October 2002.

Here are some of the contributors to the Governmment's campaign for a Yes vote, also for re-election campaign:

1. TV Licence Fee:

Increased by 67% to E 150.
2. Bin Charges:
65% to E 330 pa. (Proposed Dun Laoghaire)
3. Water Charges:
100% to E 200 pa.  (Proposed by Minnister)
4. Vat:
Over 10% to 13.5 % on Services.
Knock-on effects on Electricity, Phones, Restaurants, Hairdressers, Car Repairs, etc.

Purchase  of  goods only, remains at 21%.

5.  Motors:
1. Car  tax: up 12% to  E 278 for a 1,400cc enngine.
2. Diesel:  up approx 4%.
3. Parking charges Dublin: up approx 100%, to E 2.28 per hour (proposed)
5. Bank Charges:
1. Credit cards: up 110% to E 40 pa.
2. ATM cards: up 60% to  E 10 pa.
3. Laser cards: up 220% to E 20 pa.
4. Cheques: up nearly 90% to 15 cents per cheque.
6. Cigarettes and alcohol:
Both up.
7. VHI premiums:
Up 18%
8. Bus Éireann, Iarnrod Éireann and Dublin Bus:
Up average of 9%
9. And more?

(See Alison Healy, Irish Times, 31 Dec 2002)

Some semi-state appointments were also made.  See Semi-state appointments. (Link this website).

15 Jan 2003

The cost of Nice II - IBEC
Advertising for the Yes side (E1.25m) was largely carried out by IBEC (Irish Business and Employers' Confederation) - an employers' body, with substantial contributions by the Dail Parties.  Many businesses made a contribution to IBEC's Referendum Fund.

The question arises: who financed this contribution?

Was it loaded onto prices of commodities, or did profits suffer?  If so, was the deduction made before taxation, or after taxation?

If the deduction was made before taxation, then  the taxpayer made a contribution,  contrary to the ruling of the Supreme Court that the government could not interfere in  a referendum. (Hamilton, J, in McKenna v An Taoiseach (no 2) [1995] IR vol 210)

There is a further difficulty involving IBEC, which may extend to several of its members.

Under the Electoral Act 1997, companies, etc, are required to include in their statutory report and/or annual return details of  any donations for political purposes, valued in excess of E5,078.95, (£4,000) made by them during the year to which the report and/or return relates.

From 1 January, 2002, individuals or organisations involved  in political activity or other campaigning relating to a policy or function of the Government or of a public authority, who receive a donation exceeding in value E127.97 (£100), have to comply with certain requirements.  They  may be required to register with the Standards in Public Office Commission and disclose certain information  to the Commission relating to their funding. (From public advertisement 27 January 2002).

(See also http://www.irlgov.ie/poc/265a_246.htm).

According to legal advice received by the (Irish) Labour Party, no distinction could be made between donations from corporate bodies and individuals.(Mark Brennock, Irish Times 24 December 2002). The Labour Party  was considering a change of policy on this matter.

14 Jan 2003

TV licence increase
On  Thursday, 29 August, the Government, at a Cabinet meeting, appears to have sanctioned  an inrease of E88 to E150.  We say "appears to", as the decision may alredy have been made as long ago as 29 August 2002.

At the same Cabinet meeting, Government ministers were told by An Taoiseach, Mr Aherne, to "get out and engage in  the issues".

Just  who were the going to engage with?

The didn't call to my door.

The Re-run of the Nice Referendum was held on Saturday, 19 October, in the course of  which the Government, aided  by IBEC and others, and a fund of E1.25m for the Yes side, (against E0.250 for the No side), succeeded in convincing the electorate that Yes was better.

The Licence fee was increased officially by  the Goverment on 11 December 2002  from E88 to E150.

18 Dec 2002  (Also under "OffTheRecord: Forum on Broadcasting")

Semi-state appointments
A number of appointments is being considered by the Minister for Tranport,  Mr Seames Brennan, to the boards of semi-state companies.

Appointments to Aer Lingus and Aer Rianta are thought to be amongst the most attractive in  the Governmennt's gift.  Two such vacancies arise in the boards of each of these companies soon.

There are vacancies on other boards also which  thhe Minister is considering.  These include CIE, the Dublin Transportatin Office and the  Railway Procurement Office. (Pat Leahy, Sunday Business Post, 15 December 2002).

There are some 100 semi-state companies.

Oddly few of these are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, even  though some are funded substantially by the taxpayer, or are liable to call on  the taxpayer in  time of distress.

These include ESB, Aer Lingus and Bord na Mona, and many others.

According to the Sunday Independant of 22 September 2002, Bord na Mona are thought to  have paid the Irish Businness and Employers' Federation (IBEC) E5,000, (some  E78.95 less than the amount for which an organisation, etc, may make political donations under the the Electoral Acts, 1997 to 2002, without having to make a declaration to the Standarss in Public Office Commission).  In  the case of an individual this limit is E128 (£100).

18 December 2002

When will the Irish decide on Nice?
Why did the Irish electorate change their minds on Nice from 54/46% against, to 63/37% in  favour.

Well, they didn't.

The same number of people voted against Nice, as the first time.  What the Government succeeded in doing  this  time,  as  well as  holding  an illegal referendum, was to throw (taxpayers') money at  the problem.

Most people  who had a free air ticket to Brussels were asked to pay up by publicly supporting Nice.  Leaders of Government, employers and employees unions failed to muster the 90%, or so, in favour, that they should have. These included the leaders of Government parties, the main opposition parties, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Irish Farmers  Union, and others.

On  this occasion, Nice was  presented by  these "leaders" as a vote for enlargement (which is only partially true), and a vote  for jobs and growth.

The real  issues were  not addressed.   These included, in particular, the move to a federal state, the nature and purpose of "enhanced co-operation", the loss of a Commissioner, the Rapid Reaction Force, etc.

Those in favour of Nice cannot claim from this result that there is a mandate for a federal super-state, which is the final goal, because nowhere in Europe does  such a mandate exist.

16 Dec 2002

 EMail - info@nationalplatform.org
 Subscribe - nationalplatform-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
 Phone - +353 (-1) 830.5792
 Address - 24 Crawford Ave., Dublin 9, Ireland
                Monday 21st October, 2002

The Empire Strikes Back


"Now that the Irish have voted for jobs and growth, for neutrality and for EU enlargement, can they have another vote on the Nice Treaty?"

On a dark day for democracy in Ireland and in Europe, Irish voters succumbed to threats, pressure and bamboozlement by their political class, and agreed to ratify by 63% to 37% exactly the same Nice Treaty as they rejected last year by 54% to 46%. The voter turnout was 48% compared to 35%.

The Republic's Yes voters have thereby shown that in Ireland at this time, it is the Government not the people who are masters. Variously deceived and pressurised, Ireland's Yes voters have agreed to

  1. independence,
  2. abolish their national veto in 35 policy areas,
  3. open the way to the division of the EU into two classes or two tiers,
  4. and turn the EU Commission and Commission President into something like an EU Government and Prime Minister, under the effective political control of the Big Member States
  5. - all as provided for in the Treaty of Nice.
Many of Ireland's Yes voters have done this unknowingly or with doubts in their minds, deceived by the mendacious referendum campaign of the Government and its allies into thinking that they were voting for "Jobs and Growth," or for EU Enlargement, or for Irish Neutrality, when none of these desirable things depends on the Nice Treaty.

All of Ireland's No-side parties and groups were either in favour of EU enlargement or not against it, if the 10 Applicant countries agreed to it in their individual AccessionTreaties and these proved acceptable to their peoples in fair and free referendums.



Last year's No vote held solid in Ireland. For Ireland's No-side
campaigners to achieve 37% was quite an achievement in face of a
20 to 1 imbalance in campaign expenditure in favour of the Yes
side, in face of a trick referendum question that permitted only one
answer to two quite different joined propositions, and in face of the
gutting by the Irish Government of the statutory Referendum
Commission in the the second Nice referendum as compared with
Nice One.

This meant that the Nice Treaty Re-run was conducted
under radically different campaign rules from last year.

The lessons and experience of Nice One and Nice Two put Ireland's No-side campaigners in a strong position to defeat the Union State Constitution Treaty which is now being prepared for 2004.

Ironically, on Thursday last the Praesidium of the EU Convention, with Ireland's John Bruton present, discussed whether this draft treaty should include a proposal that Member States refusing to ratify it should be required to leave the EU, something that is legally impossible at present, but which Ireland's Yes-side voters have now permitted in principle to happen, by approving the "enhanced cooperation" provisions of the Treaty of Nice.

The Nice Re-run referendum saw the David of Irish democracy confronting the Goliath of the Irish and EU elites, second time around. David slew Goliath in Nice One, but did not expect to have to face a second bout.

In Nice Two, Goliath was forewarned against David, was better armed, and had several other Goliaths from among his relations to assist: Ireland's business, trade union and farming elites, who threw themselves into the task of overthrowing the 2001 referendum result with minimal or no consulation with their own members; East European Prime Ministers, ambassadors, Vaclav Havel and Lech Walensa, orchestrated by the Irish Government's Department of Foreign Affairs into pleading for a Yes; the EU Commission and Commissioners intervening on the Yes side, in breach of EU and Irish constitutional law; a print media leaning heavily to the Yes etc. etc.


The single most important factor in the success of the Government and its allies in overturning last year's decision of the Irish people on the Nice Treaty, was the change in function of the formerly neutral, statutory Referendum Commission.

In Nice One the Commission had the job of informing citizens in a fair and equal manner what the Yes-side and No-side arguments were. It was given substantial public money for that purpose. To help push through the Nice Re-run, the Government took this function away from the Commission on 14 December last, in a Bill that it put through all four parliamentary readings in one day, with one day's notice to the Opposition, on the eve of the Dail rising for the Christmas holidays, when media and public attention was elsewhere.

In last year's Nice referendum the Referendum Commission's publicly funded advertisements, while evenly balanced between Yes and No, were of more advantage to the No-side interests because have little money anyway.

Moreover, private interests did not bother advertising when they knew that the Yes/No arguments would be put by the Referendum Commission, and would be grounded in the facts of the Nice Treaty, not on wholescale or partial irrelevancies such as "Jobs and Growth," being "Better off in Europe," or EU Enlargement, something that primarily depends on the Accession Treaties, not Nice.

The Government's removal of this Yes/No function from the Referendum Commission cleared a free field for private advertising in the Nice Re-run, as the politicians responsible intended that it would. This advertising was massively in favour of a Yes.

When the Referendum Commission's function of setting out the pros and cons of the constitutional amendment was removed, its second function of informing citizens what the referendum was about in a manner that complied with the requirement of the 1998 Referendum Act to be "fair to all interests concerned," became all the more important.

Scandalously, in the Nice Re-run, in contrast to last year Mr Justice T.A. Finlay and his fellow Commissioners failed signally to comply with this statutory duty. By any objective standard their information function, for which the Government gave them 4,000,000 euros, lent heavily to the Yes side.

By this failure to fulfil their statutory duty the Referendum Commissioners have rendered an ill service to the Irish people, Irish democracy and the peoples of Europe. This stemmed from the Commissioners' disastrous decision to give the advertising contract to a private advertising agency, McConnells, and their failure to ensure that the character of the two information booklets that were sent to every household was objective and impartial, and that their radio and TV advertising was so also. One of the Yes-side campaigning groups had a publicity contract with the same agency as managed the Commission's publicity. For the Commission to permit this was extraordinary.

The National Platform will issue a detailed criticism in due course of the contribution of the Referendum Commission to the subversion of Irish democracy in this Nice Re-run referendum, to substantiate these judgements more fully. Suffice to mention four points here:



In the Nice Treaty Re-run referendum the Irish political class, with honourable exceptions, acted with shameful folly. It is only a matter of time before there is a political reaction amongst the people at the way in which they have been codded, lied to and bullied to overthrow last year's referendum result.

Nice One and the Nice Re-run have further exposed the hollow character of the mainstream Irish political parties - quarelling fiercely over trivia, while united on fundamentals. New political forces, which surely have the future with them, have advanced further as a result of Nice One and Nice Two.

As for the EU, the No-side people on Nice were being neither mendacious nor opportunistic when they claimed to be the "good Europeans" on this occasion, attempting to hold the EU together as a partnership of legal equals, and to prevent an institutional coup d'etat by the Big States. Now that the Nice Treaty is on the way to being ratified, it will aggravate further the contradictions and problems of the EU, its democratic deficit, the lack of identification of citizens everywhere with an essentially elitist project, the tensions between the Big States and Small, and the erosion of the EU's legitimacy and authority that is moving it at an accelerating rate towards the most profound crisis, which must lead eventually to the restoration of Europe's national democracies.

October 19 was a dark day for Ireland and for Europe, but it has
its bright side.


     Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, a pale shadow of former Fianna Fail
     leaders DeValera and Lemass, who would not have sought to
     overthrow a democratic referendum result as he did, now
     readying himself to receive a hero's welcome in Copenhagen
     in return for gifting his country to a Federal EU Superstate
     under the hegemony of Germany and France;

     The commitment and practical patriotism of thousands of
     ordinary Irish people, who canvassed and leafletted for the
     No to Nice Campaign, the Green Party, Sinn Fein and other
     No-side bodies over the past two months, animated by a real
     love of country and a belief in a better Europe;

     The intellectual dishonesty of former Taoiseach Dr Garret
     FitzGerald as he tried to pretend that this statement of his
     from May 2000 had nothing to do with "enhanced
     cooperation" á la Nice: "Ireland cannot on its own block the
     development of a core European federation and to attempt to
     do so would make us a pariah among our partnersŠ All key
     decisions would thereafter be taken by the core federation" ;

     The scurrilities of Minister for Europe Dick Roche,
     prostituting his talents to push through the same Nice Treaty
     which, as a Dail backbencher, he said it would be "an affront
     to democracy" to put unchanged again before the Irish people;

     The boorish hectoring of Foreign Minister Brian Cowen on
     radio programmes

     The feline sophistries of Dr Brigid Laffan

     The oleaginous Pat Cox, abusing his role as speaker of the
     European Parliament;

     Minister for Justice Michael McDowell: a democrat seduced
     by an undemocratic cause, allowing himself to be carried
     away by his own rhetoric to alienate his audience;

     RTE: leaning over backwards as usual to please its political
     masters, while pretending to give balanced coverage to the
     Nice referendum. . . Speed on competition for RTE Current
     Affairs. . . Speed the day when Newstalk 106 goes

     Irish Times editor Conor Brady, a key influence in
     encouraging the climate for removing from the Referendum
     Commission its function of setting out the pros and cons of
     referendum propositions, assisted in that task by sundry
     academic hired prizefighters. The "house organ of Iveagh
     House" rendered no good service to Irish democracy in doing

     The apparatchiks of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions
     deciding to back the overthrow of Nice One without any
     consultation with ordinary trade union members. The
     pleasure of learning that the Dublin Regional Council of its
     biggest affiliate, SIPTU, which did have a proper discussion
     with its members, coming out on the No-side;

     The sense that half a dozen leading lights in IBEC, ICTU, the
     IFA etc., many represented on the EU Economic and Social
     Committee in Brussels, have become ideological missionaries
     for euro-federalism, see any criticism of the EU as a form of
     heresy, and get ever more alienated from their own members
     and constituents in the process.


From the website of National Platform, emphasis and some paragraphsadded.

28 Oct 2002

(But no text added)

4  December 2002, 13 Jauary 2003

Setback in enlargement

Enlargment talks in  the EU were stated in The Iirish Times of Satuday 19 October, to have suffered "a serious setback"

The Financial Times service was quoted as saying that the Netherlands, Spain and Austria blocked plans to enable candidate countries to give state aid to companies for a limited time (p.9)

19 Oct 2002

Results 63% in favour/37% against
Details at ww.ireland.com/focus/nice/(figures on constitiencies not given) & www.rte.ie (crashed twice).
Oct 2002

Referendum on Nice Re-run (a)

We urge you to vote NO in the forthcoming referendum for the following reasons:

1. Justin Barrett  (NO to Nice Campaign):

(a)  The "No to Nice Campaign" has put up the great majority of posters, (as for Nice I), issued leaflets to households, issued The Nice Report, maintained a website www.no2nice.org, held public meetings, and other initiatives. Mr Justin Barrett concurs with all the points made by Mr Anthony Couglan, below.

(b)  Your views on the Nice Treaty were obtained last year, and you voted 54/46% to reject the TreatyThe Government has ignored the results, as they didn't come up with  the "right" answer. Why a re-rum of the Nice Treaty referendum, and none other?

(c) The  new arrangements alter Europe from being a trading partnership of legal equals to the beginnings of a super-state. (Similar to the (failed) Soviet Union  - RG).

2. Anthony Couglan  (The National Platform):

(a) The "National Platform" maintains a very useful website, http://www.nationalplatform.org/.

Mr Anthony Coughlan has participated in many discussions and fora. He is regarded as an  expert on the subject. He  has been involved with  the late Mr Raymond Crotty, who ensured that the People had a say in these matters.

(b) Power is being removed from the Commission and placed in the hands of the President, selected by the larger states.

The President can  then decide on who the Commissioners are to be and what they do. (Item 22 - 24, pages 24 & 25 of the Treaty).  This puts the Council in control.  Who is in control of  the Council?

(c) Nice is not required for enlargement, as has been agreed by Mr Romani Prodi  in Dublin (IT  21 June 2001).

Existing  treaties provide for  this, merely by holding a conference to review the EU institutions.  It makes life easier.  The AIB is said to own some 25% of banking in Poland already.

(d) "Enhanced co-operation" is a  euphemism for greater power amongst the bigger states.  (Items  1 -15, and 1 - 3, pages 9 -17 incl).

This may be used against states who are deemed to depart from the "principles" and  "values" of the Union.  But just what are  those "principles" and "values"?  Do they include abortion?

3. Dana Rosemary Scallon,  MEP:

DRS, MEP, is very conscious of the intentions of the anti-life, anti-Catholic lobby in the European Parliament.  She has issued various warnings in The Irish Catholic, The Irish Family and the secular papers, particularly in the areas of embryo research, cloning, and other unethical practises, contrary to the Irish Constitution. (See later).

4. The van Lancker report (b):

This report, in effect, demands that contraception and abortion should be freely available in Ireland as well as in applicant countries.

European countries are not obliged to implement its recommendations.  That's the theory.  But the report has been passed by the same European Parliament as has approved the Nice Treaty.

The taking of the life of the unborn  child is an integral part of accepting the laws of the EU, and it  would be foolish to imagine otherwise.

5. The Charter of Fundamental Rights (c):

The Constitution of Ireland, contains the Rights of Individuals (particularly Articles 40 to 44  - "Fundamental Rights").

The European Charter of Fundamental Rights, while containing much  that is good  that perhaps ought to be incorporated into the Irish Constitution, is fundamentally at odds with the Irish Constitution, particularly in matters of the Right to Life, the Family, Religion and God.

According to Declaration number 23.5 attached to the Nice Treaty, (page 88, and letter received from Dept of FA, 7 Aug 02) the status of the  Charter vis-à-vis the Irish Constitution may be the subject of a further referendum with a view to "making corresponding changes to the Treaties".

An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern, TD, has already "proclaimed" the Charter at Nice.  He had no authority from the Irish People to do this. His declaring it to be "a political declaration" and not a legal document is pure fiction.

6.  Destructive Human Embryo Research and "therapeutic" Cloning:

In my letter to you of 5 June 2002, I had requested, in accordance with information from Dana Rosemary  Scallon, MEP, that you object to the Taoiseach regarding this type of research.

According to the front page of The Irish Catholic of 3 October 2002, Ireland has just agreed to the payment of taxpayers' money for this research, despite it being contrary to the Irish Constitution.

E32m  has also been paid by the EU to UNFPA in lieu of the US.

If An Taoiseach feels he can disregard the written wishes (the Constitution) of  the Irish people before  we have signed up to Nice,  what will be the position after?

7.  Media coverage:

This is largely following where the money (through advertising revenue) is!

There are arguments in favour of Nice too, of course.  These are mainly economic and short-term.

But they are greatly overshadowed by the short-term and long-term social and other consequences.

In voting NO we retain full rights.

The relevant parts above are taken from a hard copy of the Nice Treaty, and  the van Lancker report, both of  which I have  access to.

Richard Greene


(a) Treaty of Nice:


(b) Van Lancken report:

                 see page 134

(c) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union:



The above has been sent as a Press Release to the Newspapers and Radio Stations of the Republic, as well as to BBC, UTV, Ch4, and Sky.  No response arom any of them.

October 2002

A national coalition of pro-women's rights, pro-family, and pro-life groups

14/16   October 2002

(Sent to 26 radio and tv stationsand to 5 newspapers - no reply from any!)


Second Referendum on Nice Treaty

NEART holds the same position on the second Nice Referendum as on the first.  That is, that it should be rejected again for the same reasons.

Democracy has suffered and continues to suffer as a result of the Taoiseach's unwillingness to implement the sovereign will of the Irish People as expressed in and through their decision to reject the Nice Treaty last year.

The mere fact of re-presenting for Referendum, a Treaty which was rejected last year is an act of betrayal of the will of the Irish electorate by the Taoiseach and the Irish Government.

Like many other groups Neart believes in enlargement of the EU but not at any price.

NEART stands for Justice, Equality, and Peace for all the citizens of this country, not just those who shout the loudest.

WE therefore stand for the right to life of the unborn from the moment of conception ( fertilisation)

WE stand for the rights of the traditional family based on marriage including the right of a mother to stay at home if she wishes instead of being forced out into the workplace and treated as an economic unit.

We stand for the right of parents to educate children in their own faith without let or hindrance on the part of the Government or any EU or UN committee.

Neart stands for the values underpinned by natural law which are being systematically replaced by Charter after Charter and Convention after Convention.

NEART attended  the Human Rights Conference held in Kilmainham on 1st July 2000.  It was  a party to the resolution passed there relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, then to be discussed in Biarritz in December 2000.

The resolution was to the effect that  the European Charter was not
approved unless there was a clear statement within the Charter that  Human Life begins at conception.

It has since emerged that the Irish Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern "proclaimed" the Charter at  Nice without the approved resolution, saying it was a "political" rather than a "legal" document - a legal fiction.

This was done without the knowledge, much less consent, of the Irish people. Mr Ahern  had no authority to act  in  this way, and his acceptance of the Charter is null and void.

This is not the only defect in the Treaty of Nice.

We are asked to approve:

1. A two tier EU giving greater powers to some nations and  to the President.

2. We are asked to believe that  Nice is required for enlargement - which it is not.

3. We are asked to relinquish sovereignty in a number of major areas and to give up our automatic right to a Commissioner of our own choosing from 2005.

4. We are asked to  give approval to the killing of the unborn child, through acceptance of the Charter of fundamental rights, destructive embryo "research", acceptance of the van Lancker and other anti-life reports.

All this in return for dubious commercial benefits.

NEART advises  that people should  again vote NO.

Pat Buckley, Chairman, NEART

 Ph: 2851146

19 Oct 2002


Van Lancker Report
Adopted at  the sitting on 3 July 2002, by the European Parliament.

See,  in particular, the following provisions of the Report, pp.137/8:

As regards contraception

"2. Recommennds the governments of the Member States and the candidate counrties to develop a high quality national policy on sexual and reproductive health, in cooperation with plural civil society organizations, providing comprehensive information concerning effective and responsible  methods of family planning, and ensuring equal access to all forms of high quality contraceptive methods  as well as fertility awareness methods;"

"4. Urges the governments of the Member States and the candidate countriess to strive  to provide contraceptives ...;"

As regards unwanted pregnancies and abortion

"11. Calls upon the governmennts of the Member States and  the candidate countries to provide specialised  sexual and  reproducive health services ....;"

"12. Recommends that, in order to safeguard women's reproductive health and rights, abortion should be made legal, safe and  accessible to all;"

For full report, see "Van Lanker Report" (EU   website)

Comment by IMR:

1. Sexual pleaure and the creation of life cannot be separated..

2. There is no right to take life.

3. Reprodutive health services = abortion.


31 Oct  2002

John Bruton,TD,
on proposed Dáil motion

A Dáil resolution endorsing enlargement would be  "unconstitutional" if Ireland rejected  the Nice treaty a second time, Fine Gael's director of elections Mr John Bruton, has  said, according to The Iiriish Times (12 Ooct 2002).

Mr Bruton argues that this is not  constitutionally possible, as the Constitution makes the People supreme over the Dáil, and not the other way around.


Mr Bruton is correct  in saying that the People are supreme.  Article 6 of  the Constitution says

"Article  6.
1.  All  powers of  goverment,  legislative,  exectutive and  judicial,  derive,  under God,  from the people whose right it is .... to decide  all questions  of  national  policy,  according to the common good"
But Mr Bruton  is forgetting two things:

1.  Did the People not decide  this matter already?  As a supporter of the Re-run,  what gives him this right to disregard  the decision last year?

2.  Enlargement to  20 is covered by the Amsterdam Treaty, which the Irish People have accepted  in a referendum.  Further enlargments may occur under this treaty, subject to a confence of the Council, the Commission, and the Parliament.  It's already catered for:  Mr Prodi agrees this as being the legal position.

18 Oct 2002

Ms Patricia McKenna, MEP
on censorship by the Irish Government.

According  to an  advertisment by "The Greens", appearing in The Irish Times of 17 October, 2002, states that the Referendum Commission has dropped 6 arguments against Nice in the current booklet, which it had last year.

18 Oct 2002

IBEC fund:
Contributors at 18 Oct 2002.

According to The Sunday Independent of 22 October 2002, five semi-state bodies had given E5,000 each to the  IBEC (Irish Business and Employers' Confederation) for their campaign for the "Yes" side in  the referendum.

IMR subseqently sent requests under the Freedom of Information Act, 1997, to a number of such bodies and to Government Departments. The following was  the position on 18  October 2002:

Replies had not been received from the following State Bodies:

Electicity Supply Board (ESB)
An Bord Gáis,
Aer Rianta,
Aer Lingus,
Córas Iompar Éireann (CIE)

An  Post has given E5,000 to the fund.

VHI has stated that it has not contributed.

Replies had not been received from the following Government Departments:
Dept of Transport,
Dept of Foreign Affairs,
Dept of Health annd Children.
The Minister for Tranport, Mr Brennan, was stated (in a  report in  The Irish Times of 28 September), to have passed the letter on to the Attorney General for "his consideration  and advice".  (Ed:  what does this mean?)

Formal replies have been received from:

Dept of Finance,
Dept of Communications.
The Minister for Communications, Mr  Dermot Ahern, was stated to be giving the letter "his consideration" (Ed:  again, what does this mean?)

The Dept of Justice and Law Reform said that "it had provided no funding to any person  or company towards a campaign to induce members of the public to vote in favour or against the Nice Treaty."

The solicitors of Ms Patricia McKenna, MEP are understood to be:

MacGeehan & Toale of Dublin.
18 October 2002