IFA warns against Lisbon 'blame game'

IFA warns against Lisbon 'blame game'

Irish Farmers' Association (IFA), which belatedly pledged support for the Lisbon Treaty, tonight warned of a looming blame game.

The 85,000-strong organisation backed the Yes campaign 10 days ago, giving the Government a huge boost but officials said local issues had ultimately taken over.

The IFA said many people feared the treaty would impact on Ireland's Defence Forces and their peacekeeping role and also religious affairs.

However, the group's chief executive Padraig Walshe urged all sides to work together to repair the damage done by the resounding No vote.

"Political parties and their leaders who had supported the referendum should not engage in a blame game as this would be fruitless," he said.

The IFA only moved to support Lisbon after the Government assured members it would veto any world trade deal that undermined Ireland's agricultural interests.

It came as a huge relief for Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and with a potential 85,000 votes or more from farmers and their families it appeared to secure the necessary numbers to pass the referendum.

An IFA spokesman rejected suggestions they did not get the vote out or that farmers did not follow the advice from leaders.

"Our tracking tells us not only did our people turn out but they turned out and voted Yes in strong numbers. We are quite confident about that," the spokesman said.

"What we were getting back in the last few days was that people voted No for a lot of different reasons, military, religious and local domestic issues.

"You had a myriad of issues which contributed to a No vote but we are happy that our membership took our advice and got our vote out."

The IFA claimed local issues including protests by fishermen in Co Waterford over high operating costs and quotas and hospital issues in the North-West were to blame for the No vote.

More on this topic

Ganley 'set to sue RTÉ'Ganley 'set to sue RTÉ'

Gilmore: No appetite for another Lisbon referendumGilmore: No appetite for another Lisbon referendum

Barroso: EU may need another treaty changeBarroso: EU may need another treaty change

EU leaders change Lisbon Treaty in bid to calm markets


More in this Section

Three men arrested following Belfast 'knife fight'Three men arrested following Belfast 'knife fight'

Pedestrian seriously injured after collision in Cork overnightPedestrian seriously injured after collision in Cork overnight

Cork University Hospital made over €2.5m from car parking charges in 2019Cork University Hospital made over €2.5m from car parking charges in 2019

Freezing temperatures to continue throughout the morning Freezing temperatures to continue throughout the morning


Lifestyle

Flexibility naturally declines with age but there’s a lot you can to stay supple through the decades, says Peta Bee.At full stretch: How to stay flexible through the years

Simon Prim is owner of Simon Prim Book Shop, Main Street, Kinsale, Co Cork, which sells second-hand books.‘Kinsale is a welcoming town, and everyone is encouraging’

The Everyman hosts Ronan FitzGibbon’s play about singsongs along the Blackwater, writes Marjorie BrennanA river runs through it: Everyman to play to host to Blackwater Babble

WHEN I think about the kind of child I was, I would say that I was the exact same kind of person that I am as an adult. I have always been fascinated by things that I don’t quite yet understand. I recognise that I hardly understand anything and that most of the world is and always has been so beautifully complex to me.School Daze: Chris Hadfield - I realised at a young age that teachers were fallible

More From The Irish Examiner