Statement | Petition to President for referendum on EU treaty


Today, the Dáil’s Technical Group, headed up by Donegal South West TD Thomas Pringle, launch their campaign to refer the forthcoming EU Treaty Bill to the people of Ireland should the government, on the advice of the Attorney General, decide that a referendum is not a legal requirement.

The group is calling on all members of the Oireachtas to join with them in petitioning President Michael D Higgins under the provisions of Article 27 of the Constitution to forego the signing into law of the Bill if passed by the Oireachtas and to instead refer it to the people for their direct consideration.

Although never before used, Article 27 has been a part of the Irish Constitution since its enactment in 1937 and states that where a third of the members of the Dáil and a majority of the members of the Seanad sign a petition requesting that the President, “shall decline to sign and promulgate such Bill as a law unless and until the proposal shall have been approved… by the people at a Referendum in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of Article 47 of this Constitution”.

Deputy Pringle commented: “This mechanism was inserted into the Constitution all those years ago to ensure that even where there’s no constitutional requirement for it, there is a means by which the people may be consulted on matters of significant public interest.  Regardless of the legal requirement to put this treaty to the people, there is a moral requirement to do so as its effects will be felt by the people of Ireland long after the current Dáil has been dissolved and replaced.”

The Donegal South West TD concluded by, “calling on all TDs and Senators to trust the judgement of those who elected them, pledge their support for the Independent Group’s petition and give the people of Ireland the opportunity to determine the course of their own future.”

Issued by: Thomas Pringle, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Stephen Donnelly, Luke “Ming” Flanagan, Tom Fleming, John Halligan, Seamus Healy, Joe Higgins, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Shane Ross and Mick Wallce

  • Dalyaunec

    Democracy?  What democracy? The Irish people were wise to reject both the Nice and Lisbon Treaties. If their wishes had been respected perhaps Europe would not be in the state it is in today.  They would have had to work out all of these problems and perhaps the cracks in the construction of the euro could have been resolved.  We will never know now…but without doubt no further treaty changes should be entered into without the express authority of the Irish people through a referendum. It is sinister that the French president feels free to humiliate our Taoiseach in the manner in which he did…I doubt if he would have dared to do such a thing to the British Prime Minister or any other Prime Minister.  

  • Jens

    i think it is very important to distinguish between a referendum about the treaty itself and a referendum about enshrining the treaty into the constitution.
    all people who demand a referendum should consider if the referendum were passed it would have terrible effects on the people for decades as stephen explained this austerity will result in 20 years of at best stagnation
    if it was passed by law in the dail  the next government could reverse the decision after a few weeks in office.

    after all, considering on what our monetary system is build on, compound interest and creation of money out of nothing by central banks and also private banks and even all euro countries manage to balance their budgets no problem is solved. someone else like private households or companies will have to take on this debt instead because the overall debt in the system cant shrink unless savings are reduced to the same level like in a mirror. 
    the system is overburdend with debt without a substantial amount of places left where to invest in a secure way.
    a substantial debt forgiveness resulting in a massive reduction money invested is going to become unavoidable.