Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has called on the Tánaiste and Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore to clarify his party’s position on whether a referendum on the new EU Fiscal Treaty should be held.
Deputy Dooley, who is a Member of the European Affairs Committee, said: ‘I welcome the comments from Labour deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin supporting a referendum on the text which the Taoiseach agreed and signed up to in Brussels.
Speaking on Today with Pat Kenny (RTÉ Radio One) last Friday Deputy Ó Riordáin said “whatever comes out of these discussions [EU Informal Meeting 30/1/12], and whatever text we get on Monday, I think it needs to go to the people.”
Deputy Dooley said: “Deputy Ó Riordáin has taken a very constructive view of this issue. A majority of people in the country want an opportunity to have their say on this issue and the Government should not deny them that. In light of Deputy Ó Riordáin’s position and the fact that there may be others in the Labour Party who share his view, I think the Tánaiste should clarify his own party’s position as a matter of urgency.
“If we have learned anything from referendum campaigns in recent years it is that when people are engaged with on important issues they will listen. I don’t take the view of Minister Varadkar, and perhaps it is shared by some of his colleagues in Government, that referendums are undemocratic. The Taoiseach has said he does not fear a referendum on this Treaty, if that is the case then he should announce the Government’s intention to hold one.”