Senator: State-funded agencies under pressure to support Yes vote

A Senator on the No side vote of the Marriage Referendum debate has claimed agencies who receive State funding are being pressured into supporting a Yes vote.

Senator Jim Walsh said he had heard of cases where representatives of certain bodies are being called upon to endorse same-sex marriage.

The now Independent Senator resigned from Fianna Fáil after he disagreed with the party whip system, which called for members to campaign for a Yes vote.

He said the Government was interfering in democracy by trying to influence certain organisations' stance on the Marriage Referendum.

"I'm told officials rang (one organisation) and asked that high-ranking people within the organisation would make a declaration that they were voting Yes," he said.

"When (the person in the organisation) expressed some reservation about that, they were reminded of the funding they were getting."

He said the person who contacted him did not want to go public out of fear of "some kind of retaliation".

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