[Sinn Fein]

29 May 2001

Sligo Mayor criticises Taoiseach over Treaty of Nice debate

Sinn Fein Mayor of Sligo, Sean MacManus, this afternoon reacted to the Taoiseach and the government over their criticism of the No Campaign. Speaking from Sligo today Sinn Fein spokesperson no the Treaty of Nice, Alderman MacManus said:

``This mornings comments from the Taoiseach and Brian Cowen exposes the nervousness of the Government's campaign for a Yes vote.

``Again they have failed engage in a proper debate on the issues. Instead they have resorted to making snide and disingenuous comments about the No Campaign.

``It is ironic to hear the Taoiseach complaining about the shortness of the campaign when he is the one to blame.

``Sinn Fein have consistently pointed out that this Treaty does not have to be ratified until the end of next year.

``The reality is that the government deliberately rushed this referendum in the hope of hoodwinking the electorate into voting yes.

``Sinn Fein can justly stand over all of our arguments in relation to the Treaty of Nice.

Our `No to Nice - No to Nato' poster campaign, which has cost a fraction of Fianna Fails, rightly highlights the fact that NATO will, whether Bertie Ahern or Brian Cowen like it or not, have considerable influence over the EU Rapid Reaction Force.''

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