Gilmore warns referendum result will be close-run affair

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore warned that the results of tomorrow’s Lisbon treaty referendum would be close.

Mr Gilmore said campaigning had never been as active since the 1996 referendum on divorce.

Flanked by party colleagues in Dublin at Labour’s last press conference before polling day, Mr Gilmore said his members were standing over every claim made about the treaty.

“It is fair to say that this has been the most active referendum campaign that we’ve seen in this country for some time...

“I can say that we can stand over every word, every press statement that we have issued, every argument that we have made.

“We have told the truth about what is written in the Lisbon treaty.”

Mr Gilmore said the Labour party had set out 30 reasons to vote yes during its campaign.

Three integral benefits for Irish people, the labour leader reiterated, included improving the way the EU worked, improving Ireland’s relationship with the EU and boosting the rights of workers.

The eyes of the world would be focused on Ireland over the coming days, Mr Gilmore pointed out.

“We need to reflect on the message that this country sends to the world on Thursday.

“Are we going to send a message that we are a country that is open for business, that is fully engaged with the European Union or are we going to send a message that we are backing away from the European Union.”

Following latest figures on unemployment, which showed the live register rising above 200,000 for the first time in several years, Mr Gilmore warned it was not a time to break economic ties with Europe.

“As we see job losses increasing, prices rising, interest rates effecting mortgages, this is not the time.”

Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa argued that the no campaign had been particularly “naive and uninformed” in its approach.

Those opposed to the treaty had said ‘no, let’s hold hands with Sinn Féin and take a jump in the dark,’ he said.

Labour’s referendum director Joe Costello TD said the party had spent around €200,000 on its campaign, which included canvassing on the internet and social networking websites.

Mr Gilmore defended the use of its posters, which had featured large pictures of party members with minimal reference to the referendum.


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