Funding the main issue in debate on fiscal treaty

The first televised debate on the EU fiscal treaty has been dominated by exchanges about where Ireland would get funding when the EU/IMF bailout expires.

Two representatives from the YES side - Minister Simon Coveney, and Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin have been debating with Socialist TD Joe Higgins and Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald on the NO side.

Deputy McDonald has accused the government of falsely claiming Ireland would have no access to funding if there is a NO vote.

She was challenged by Michael Martin - when she suggested that Ireland should vote NO and block the establishment of the EU's permanent bailout fund the ESM:

"Why in the name of God would we want to veto a European stability mechanism fund? Are we living in the real world?" he said.

"…people have said we should veto it or we can veto it. I don't want to veto the fund. The fund is important for Ireland and its important for Europe", he added.

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