‘They may be Europe’s puppets but we’re not’

IRISH people will not be bullied into becoming puppets for Europe, those who voted no to the Lisbon Treaty said.

Disputing claims that

accepting the referendum would be right for Europe and right for Ireland, the no voters stood strong in ensuring the country held on to its own power.

Under the shadow of scores of campaign posters — plugging both the yes and no campaign — local residents emerged from Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School to reveal why they decided not to give Brussels more power over the island.

Ann Rafferty, a 24-year-old-law graduate, went against the treaty because she believed it was not clear enough for voters.

“I didn’t think the reasons to vote yes were enough,” she said. “I went to the Forum on Europe and even the yes campaign said it wasn’t a perfect treaty.

“I didn’t see the point in voting for something that was halfway there. The arguments for it never made a convincing debate.”

But the referendum divided the Rafferty household, with Ann’s younger sister, Beth, putting a tick in the yes box. The Leaving Certificate student, who turned 18 three days ago, said she felt the Treaty was the way to go.

“I read all the documentation and made a balanced decision,” said the pupil of Alexandra College.

“I read the Referendum Commission booklet and all the Lisbon treaty leaflets that came through the door covering the yes and no arguments from Fianna Fáil and Libertas. I think this is right for the country and that the no campaign was really exaggerated and supported badly.”

Taxi driver Dermot Doherty said he voted no because he did not understand the document.

“It’s as simple as that,” said the 56-year-old. “I have met a lot of people in my job and they’ve all said the same thing.”

Primary school teacher Deirdre Nic Eanruig described the treaty as an obscure document.

“Europe already has too much power in Ireland and I think we are giving away all our power,” she said.

“I think we were being bullied by a lot of the politicians and the governments. They may be Europe’s puppets but we’re not.”

John McDonald, 51, said a no vote was the best option for the country.

“I do not like having my arm twisted, I do not like being threatened, and I do not like the way the EU is run,” he said.

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