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Commission did not intervene to help one side

ONCE again I have to protest at your publication of outrageous allegations against the independent Referendum Commission.

Michael O’Driscoll (Letters, June 17) makes a number of criticisms of the commission, some of which are valid in relation to the clarity of their message, the effectiveness of their PR campaign, and so on.

These are really a matter of opinion, and will lie in the eye of the beholder. However to allege, as he does, that “interventions by the commission were designed solely to benefit one side’s interpretations of disputed points” is completely unacceptable.

The commission is statute-barred from doing any such thing, and the members of the commission — a High Court judge, the comptroller and auditor general, the ombudsman, the clerk of the Dáil and the clerk of the Seanad — have all taken oaths of office which preclude them from taking sides in any partisan matters. Did Mr O’Driscoll consider for a moment that the commission’s dismissal of the central planks of the no campaign was not an effort to boost the yes campaign, but in fact a genuine analysis of the claims that were being made? It is a great pity he, and a great many other people, did not take the advice of these independent public servants at face value. We may well rue the day that we failed to listen to them.

Barry Walsh

Brooklawn

Clontarf

Dublin 3


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