[Sinn Fein]

3 February 2002

Government `bad loser' in wanting re-run of Nice Treaty poll

SF Euro candidate hits back at Cowen's attack at Forum

Sinn Fein's European elections candidate for Dublin has hit back at Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowen's description of campaigners against another Treaty of Nice referendum as ``self-indulgent''.

Dublin South-West Councillor Seán Crowe retorted that it is Minister Cowen who is being self-indulgent. Cllr Crowe said that Mr Cowen is being a bad loser in wanting to re-run the Treaty of Nice referendum until he gets the result he wants.

The Sinn Fein councillor said that Mr Cowen's comments to the National Forum on Europe in Dublin Castle ``are arrogant, patronising and insulting to the public''. Cllr Crowe said:

``Mr Cowen says that Ireland's interests are at stake, as if his government has a monopoly on knowing what's good for Ireland and the public should accept this. Campaigners against the Treaty of Nice - including Fianna Fáil supporters who voted `No' - also care about the future of Ireland and Europe, and about having our neutrality and sovereignty eroded.

``Mr Cowen lost the referendum and he is a bad loser. Now he wants to keep running it until he gets the result he wants. What will Mr Cowen be able to say if Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe loses his presidential election and runs it again because he does not like the way the people voted?''

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