[Sinn Fein]

28 May 2001

Ferris challenges O'Donohue to debate on Treaty of Nice

Sinn Fein Councillor and Ard Chomhairle member Martin Ferris has challenged John O'Donohue to a debate on the issues at the heart of the Treaty of Nice and has called on him to bring an end to his ill-tempered attacks on Sinn Fein.''

Cllr. Ferris said:

``The last ten days have seen members of the government giving up all pretence of engaging in a reasoned debate on the issues at the heart of the Treaty of Nice.  Instead in an attempt to distract the public they are resorting to ill-tempered attacks on Sinn Fein and the Greens.  

``One this is clear several weeks into this referendum and that is that this type of negative campaigning coupled with the decision of the government to rush this referendum through quickly is causing real confusion among the general public. There was no need to hold it so quickly. It could have been held any time up to late next year.

``The Taoiseach and others have said that after the Referendum we need a debate on the future of the EU. That is ludicrous. Nice makes fundamental changes to the way the EU is governed. The time for a debate is before we have a referendum.''ENDS

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