Monday, November 12, 2012

Referendum outcome: Kathy Sinnott calls for Frances Fitzgerald to resign

The children’s rights amendment to the Irish Constitution was passed with 57.4 per cent of people voting for the amendment and 42.6 per cent voting No.

In one of the lowest referendum turnouts on record just 33.49 per cent of the 3.1 million people eligible to vote cast their ballots.

The Irish Times reports that, former MEP Kathy Sinnott, in a reaction to the result, called for the resignation of Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
“The amount of people voting No shows that the leadership in this country is out of touch. Heads should roll after this. Frances Fitzgerald’s position is untenable,” she said. “I am disappointed the referendum was carried yet it was a magnificent No vote. People realised the State had misinformed them and felt uneasy about the referendum.

“There was no real information given about it and the debate surrounding it was left too late in the day. Considering all the major political parties called for a Yes vote, the amount of people that voted No was significant,” she added. Ms Sinnott said she hoped the result of the referendum would be challenged. “I hope there is a voter out there who is willing to take the challenge. I will help them in any way I can. This referendum is unsafe in legal terms because the result does not represent a fair choice on behalf of the people. Rules were broken by the Government and they spent our money on a one sided and misinformed campaign to ensure a Yes vote.”
Another prominent No campaigner John Waters said 42 per cent of people voting no was a “fantastic achievement”.

“I’m very disappointed that we didn’t defeat the Government on this but the significant number of people who voted no was a great achievement for the No side,” he said.

“There are grounds for challenge to this decision and I hope that someone does challenge it,” he added.
Speaking at the count centre in Dublin Castle yesterday, solicitor Malachy Steenson said a challenge to the referendum was “up for discussion.”