Coveney: Bruton gaffe 'a one-off'

Coveney: Bruton gaffe 'a one-off'

The Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has ruled out a second EU Fiscal Treaty referendum if Ireland votes 'No' on May 31.

Minister Coveney, who is Fine Gael's Director of Elections for the campaign, has defended his Cabinet colleague Richard Bruton, after the Jobs Minister suggested a second referendum may be needed during a radio debate yesterday.

Minister Bruton later retracted the comments.

The Agriculture Minister said Mr Bruton made a mistake, and if people vote 'No' to the EU Fiscal Treaty then that is the final decision.

Mr Coveney said: "Anyone that knows Richard Bruton knows that he is a very straight person and he realised very quickly that he made a mistake, that what he said caused confusion and he tried to correct this as quickly as he could

"After he said that, very quickly people in the Government and Fine Gael clarified things very quickly, I did certainly last night, issuing a very clear categoric statement that this is a one-off."

Sinn Féin's deputy leader MaryLou McDonald says she accepts the clarification, but she said she still has some reservations.

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