[Sinn Fein]

22 May 2001

Adams calls on government to end their phony war on Nice and engage in a real political debate

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has this afternoon called on the government to bring an end to their negative campaigning and engage in a real political debate on the issues at the heart of the Treaty of Nice.

Mr. Adams said:

``Those who support the Nice Treaty have not dealt with the main issues at the heart of the referendum.  Instead they have tried to deflect attention from those issues, by engaging in negative campaigning.  This    is no substitute for actual and real political debate.

``Given the revelations last week which stated that only 11% of the electorate had any knowledge of the detail of the Treaty of Nice and over 30% indicated that they were not going to vote at all,  it is crucial that a full and open debate takes place, even at this late stage.

``This morning Sinn Fein presented our submission to the Referendum Commission outlining why we are recommending a NO vote:

``Over the last ten days Sinn Fein have been engaged in an extensive canvas in constituencies throughout the 26 counties - from Donegal to Kerry and from Dublin to Wexford.

``Today we are outside Clancy Barracks to highlight the very real impact the Treaty of Nice is already having on our neutrality.  Clancy Barracks has, along with numerous other military installations across the 26 Counties, been earmarked for sale to the highest bidder.  This is being done so that the Irish defence forces can raise the necessary funds to purchase and upgrade military hardware to make it compatible with other members of the Rapid Reaction Force.

``We believe that instead of investing in such a project such funds should be used to tackle the housing crisis which is evident not just in this city but throughout the country.  And I want to welcome the decision of Dublin Corporation to continue in their attempts to acquire Clancy Barracks for much needed social housing but I would call on the government to hand over the barracks to the Corporation.

``As we enter the final two weeks of the campaign on the Treaty of Nice Sinn Fein will be bringing this message to homes the length and breath of the state and we are confident that this will be reflected in the polls on June 7th.''

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