[Sinn Fein]

8 June 2001

No Vote a victory for Irish sovereignty and neutrality - Ó Caoláin

Welcoming the rejection of the Nice Treaty in his constituency of  Cavan/Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin congratulated those who came out against the Treaty.   Deputy Ó Caoláin said that the government attempts to bully the Irish people into accepting a bad treaty had failed.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``This is a victory for all who value Irish democracy, sovereignty and neutrality.  In the face of the united front of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, the PDs, IBEC and the leaderships of ICTU and IFA, ordinary citizens endorsed the arguments of the NO campaign.  The political elite has suffered a significant setback.

``This is a vote to retain democratic control in the hands of Irish elected representatives.   It is a vote against the drive to an EU superstate and a two tier EU dominated by the large states.

``The government and its allies failed to motivate their own supporters and the wider public to endorse the Nice Treaty.  That Treaty is now a dead letter.  We must begin a comprehensive debate on the way forward for Ireland and the EU.  One of the first steps the government should take is to accept the 25th Amendment to the Constitution Bill, sponsored by myself and other pro-neutrality deputies, and which would write non-membership of military alliances into the Constitution.''

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