Molloy golden handshake makes waves on campaign trail

CONTROVERSY over the golden handshake to former Fás boss Rody Molloy has entered the Lisbon campaign, with Sinn Féin referring to the Government’s handling of the issue in the party’s call for a No vote in Friday’s referendum.

Green Party leader John Gormley expressed concern that the controversy “could prove a distraction” and was being exploited by No campaigners. However, he appealed to voters to focus on the real issues in the treaty.

“We have to work hard on the issues and ensure we campaign strongly in the last few days. It will be difficult and I think the last few days will be crucial,” he said.

Urging a No vote on Friday, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams said the Government “got it wrong” on a number of issues, including the Bord Snip report, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) and Lisbon.

“Controversy about the whole Rody Molloy affair shows the Government is out of touch.”

In a media interview on the Lisbon Treaty, he criticised the “ridiculous situation with the Taoiseach saying he thinks a €1m deal is fair when the Government is cutting the pension rates to ordinary citizens”.

“It’s the same Government, its the same treaty and should be given the same answer this time around.”

No campaigner Patricia McKenna of the People’s Movement threatened the European Commission with legal action over a “propaganda campaign” in its advertising supplement distributed in newspapers. She said Irish law prohibited the use of public money to promote one side in a referendum campaign and accused the Commission of “bombarding the public with propaganda at the public’s expense”.

Ms McKenna believes a good turnout will be important: “Don’t stay at home. You voted No last time. Come out and vote again, because it’s crucial that the political establishment listen to those that elect them,” she told voters.

Mr Adams said, by staying at home, people will play into the hands of the Yes side: “People need to be motivated to come out and vote no.

Voting no is a positive statement, it’s a declaration of faith in the future, based on a new treaty, a fairer Ireland and a fairer EU.”


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