Top Issue 1-2024

18 July 2002 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

Big Brother says Yes to Nice II


Have you found the time yet to inform the media that you support the Nice Treaty and that grave and perilous dangers await the 26 Counties if they dare vote No? Well, the bandwagon is leaving town and everyone who matters is climbing aboard.

First out of the traps last week was IDA chief executive Sean Dorgan. In what Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh described as a "crass intervention", Dorgan warned that "a decision by Ireland not to ratify will be seen and represented as a withdrawal by Ireland from the European consensus. Because we are relatively small and so trade-dependent, more than any other member-state, our economic prospects are tied to an intimate and central involvement in the EU."

Interesting as Dorgan's analysis was, he was also reporting on what were dismal figures from the IDA caused by an international downturn in the economy, a collapse driven by not the EU economy but the US one.

Dorgan also claimed that international investment in the economy would falter if there was a second No vote. Strangely, Dorgan did not give any figures on how much international investment had been lost because of the first No vote, even though he did say that the number of site visits and project negotiations that the IDA were involved in was up this year on the same period in 2001.

Next up was 26-County president Mary McAleese, who was born into an Irish community who have been consistently denied any say in what sort of Europe they want to live in.

While emphasising that she cannot remark on the outcome of a referendum, McAleese did leave herself open to comment when she said in an RTÉ interview that, "Greece, like our European partners is very anxious that the timetable be adhered to. Clearly the passing of the Nice Treaty is pivotal to that".

While there was some backtracking by McAleese and the Dublin government over what she actually meant, the comments could be interpreted as guilting Irish citizens into voting yes.

Last up was Bank of Ireland governor Laurence Crowley, who, at the bank's Annual General Meeting, declared that rejecting Nice would do "irreparable damage" to not just the interests of the 26 Counties but also to the bank and its shareholders. There was substantial applause from the floor for interventions by shareholders who felt Crowley should have stayed silent on the matter. Will the Bank be funding the Yes campaign now, I wonder?

Next week, we await the important views of Bono, Brian Kennedy, and of course Ronan Keating as well as evicted Treasure Island and Big Brother contestants. We await anxiously Jade's views on Nice II.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1