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13 / 06 / 2008 - Irish `NO` vote to Lisbon Treaty sends out powerful message to EU - Cóir
Results of Lisbon Treaty Referendum - NO - 53.4% YES - 46.6%
The leading 'NO to LISBON' campaigners, Cóir, have said that the results of the Referendum has sent out a powerful message to influential figures in the European Union who had believed that they could simply steamroll over the wishes of the Irish people.
"We struck a chord with the majority of voters, by explaining that Lisbon takes power from the Irish citizen in a great many area," said spokesman Richard Greene. "I think it is fair to say that we had a tremendous effect on the campaign." In the last 10 days prior to the vote, senior 'YES' spokespersons spent a large portion of their time attacking Cóir's campaign - a tactic they hastily dropped when opinion polls showed it was causing a rise in the 'NO' vote.
The campaign uncovered an unease amongst the Irish people about the direction that the EU is taking and a distrust of their political leaders when it comes to the EU. Polls which showed a high prosperity of people against the treaty came as a surprise to both the political establishment and media commentators. what became clear as the campaign took to the airways and streets of Ireland was that issues such as worker's rights, abortion and euthanasia, and immigration were high on the list of public concerns and that people were not prepared to believe the political establishment without serious examination.
The 'YES' campaign, which included the government and most of the opposition parties, countered that a "NO' vote would be disastrous for Ireland's standing in Europe. This did not prove an entirely popular tactic as many people felt that they were being bullied into supporting the treaty by implied threat.
Cóir spokesman, Richard Greene, said that this campaign sent a powerful message not only to the EU, but to the government. "It is also clear that people do not have an implicit trust in the word of the politicians, and that they expect a better service from their public representatives," he said.
He said the campaign was a truly magnificent battle which sent out a clear message that cannot be ignored.
Fr John Brady, the Cóir patron said it was a real pleasure to have worked with so many committed Catholics who gave so selflessly of their time and energy during the campaign. He praised Cóir volunteers for being out campaigning and explaining the treaty while the political parties squabbled amongst themselves.
Cóir say campaign unified the pro-life movement
Leading campaigners for a NO vote to the Lisbon Treaty, Cóir, said that the campaign had unified and enthused the pro-life movement across the country in the months before the referendum.
Speaking to the Irish Family Press, spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said "the entire pro-life, pro-family community came together to oppose this huge threat to our values and our right to decide our laws, and produced a unified and very effective campaign."
The Cóir campaign has been described as "truly the work of great imaginative genius" by the Irish Independent and the innovative and professional nature of the campaign had drawn praise right across the political spectrum and the entire country. "It shows what can be done when we come together in defence of our constitutional rights and our freedom to make decision," said Niamh Uí Bhriain. "We have a marvellous template now to work with and we need to keep pressing forward on the crucial issues that have been raised in this campaign."
Richard Greene of Cóir said that the campaign's success was due to the "extraordinary effort made by ordinary people who had joined with Cóir in defending our Irish freedom and the rights of families and our unborn children." He said it was an extraordinary achievement and that a "political way forward should now be built by everyone who had become part of this historic battle."
Source : The Irish Family Press