Friday, November 9, 2012

Appeal by Mothers Alliance to President Higgins to stop tomorrows Referendum

President of Ireland,
Mr. Michael D. Higgins,
Aras an Uachtaráin,
Phoenix Park, Dublin.

9th November 2012

Dear President Higgins,

Mothers Alliance Ireland are requesting you, as President of Ireland, to take whatever steps are necessary to stop the Referendum on the proposed Amendment to the Constitution going ahead tomorrow, 10th November 2012.

It is our contention that the Irish people have been wilfully and intentionally denied full and factual information by the Government, by the Referendum Commission and by the national broadcaster RTE, information which, if it was known, we believe would undoubtedly affect the outcome of the Referendum.

Irish people are not aware that they are voting on an Amendment to the Constitution which will bring the Constitution of Ireland into line with an International Treaty, namely the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will facilitate the incorporation into Irish domestic law, of the principles contained in this International Treaty, and which constitutes a direct attack on the Constitutional Family, which the Government has a Constitutional obligation to defend from attack. The Referendum Commission, in their public information booklet, in their media advertisements and in their public broadcasts on RTE and on other media outlets, failed to make this crucial fact known.

Two separate Bills entitled the 31st Amendment to the Irish Constitution are in circulation at this present time.
One is named the Thirty First Amendment to the Constitution (Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) Bill 2012.

The Second Bill is named: The Thirty First Amendment to the Constitution (Children’s) Bill 2012. These publications are confusing in themselves. They were circulated on Official Government paper as having been passed by both houses of the Oireachtas. The first flawed publication was withdrawn, but there was no public pronouncements from Government offices to alert the people that this flawed document had been distributed to Post Offices around Ireland. Neither were the Irish people properly informed when the flawed Bills were finally recalled from Post Offices. Both publications are on official Government paper, and are indistinguishable from each other. Copies of the Bills were unavailable for purchase at any time in post offices during the campaign, contrary to the 1994 Referendum Act.

Despite repeated appeals from Mothers Alliance Ireland to Mr Peter Feeney, of the RTE Referendum Steering Committee, including a request to facilitate a head to head debate with Minister Frances Fitzgerald to alert the electorate to the fact that the Referendum, if passed, would

bring our Constitution into line with an International Treaty, and also to the dangerous contamination in the Referendum publications, RTE failed in their duty under the Broadcasting Act to explore and debate the issues raised by Mothers Alliance Ireland, with any government representative, including the Minister, or any of the yes-campaign advocates. We hold that this displays a lack of fairness and impartiality on the part of the public broadcaster towards the No campaign, depriving the people of their right to know in the public interest. RTE did offer MAI an audience seat in the Frontline programme but could give no guarantee that we would get an opportunity to raise the issue.

We contend that there was collusion between Government and Media and vested interests both outside and inside Ireland, to prevent the Irish people from knowing fully that they were being asked to change their Constitution to bring Irish domestic law into line with International law.

We also hold that the Bill could be in contravention of Article 46 of the Irish Constitution.

Acknowledging that yesterday’s Supreme Court Judgement did not allow an injunction, this Referendum must be called off, because it is impossible, at this stage, for the Government and the Referendum Commission to correct the mis-statements in the entire presentation by the Referendum Commission, particularly the glaring omission, referenced in the Government booklet, that the Referendum, if passed, would reflect an International Treaty, which will be legally binding on Ireland. The Irish people will be transferring a fundamental competence from the people to an International body, without fully informed consent.

Mothers Alliance Ireland, an approved body by the Referendum Commission for the purposes of this Referendum, is now informing you, the President of Ireland, the Taoiseach and the Attorney General, that this is a fatally flawed Referendum and should be called off forthwith.

Yours respectfully,

Mrs Nora Bennis,
Secretary Mothers Alliance Ireland,

47 O'Connell Street, Limerick.