Cowen to make case for treaty

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen will deliver a keynote address on the Lisbon Treaty in Dublin Castle today.

Mr Cowen will give the address at the National Forum on Europe, outlining the case for a yes vote.

He will engage in debate with members, including politicians on both the yes and no sides. The debate will be streamed live on www.forumoneurope.ie.

Meanwhile, Green Party senator Deirdre De Burca has said she “dreads” the thought of future European referendums and having to persuade “poorly informed, apathetic voters” to support important changes to the EU.

She made the remarks in a letter to a newspaper in which she made the case for a national strategy to tackle the “lack of public familiarity” with the EU.

“Is it too much to hope that such a strategy might be implemented in this country in the coming years?” she asked. “I am confident that there are other politicians who, like me, dread the thought of having to face future EU treaty referendums and to persuade poorly informed, apathetic voters to support important changes to the EU. Let’s prioritise the issue, and find ways to ensure that our citizens become increasingly informed on, and involved with, EU matters.”

In a subsequent press release, she called for a permanent “EU information service” in Ireland as a way of addressing the problem, but the release notably failed to mention her lack of enthusiasm for future referendums.

Meanwhile, anti-Lisbon group Libertas questioned the Government’s knowledge of both the treaty and how Europe works following comments by Tánaiste Mary Coughlan.

Twice in four days, Ms Coughlan asserted that larger EU member states each have two European commissioners, when in fact they only have one. Speaking at a debate in AIB, Libertas chairman Declan Ganley said Ms Coughlan’s comments were “very disturbing”.

Another anti-Lisbon group, Coir, announced that it had booked 144 adverts on the Luas trams to boost their campaign. The adverts will run for the next two weeks.


Lifestyle

Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner