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Outrageous attack on commission chairman

I HAVE to object to the letter from John Mallon (‘Our power of veto will fade away under the treaty’, May 27) which not only highlighted the worst excesses of no campaign scaremongering, but also contained a series of outrageous attacks on a member of the judiciary.

Mr Mallon alleges that the chairman of the Referendum Commission, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, is “only doing what the politicians tell him to do” and says the commission has been “gagged by our politicians who simply want us to vote yes because they say so”.

This is an absolutely scandalous allegation, and I am surprised that you allowed it to be carried on your pages. Under the constitution, Mr Justice O’Neill is bound to conduct himself without fear or favour and to resist any kind of outside influence — least of all from politicians.

Mr Mallon presents us with a series of ludicrous crystal-ball hypotheses on which we should vote no, including a future EU invasion of Saudi Arabia, the introduction of abortion by “liberal Europeans” and a scenario where 65% of European political leaders go “a bit mad”.

Is it possible for those opposed to the treaty to argue against it without painting a picture of our European neighbours spending every waking moment plotting against us?

What kind of message does that send to our young people who seek out the opportunities that Europe presents to them? Or our business leaders who trade there?

Should the people of Ireland trust a no campaign which peddles such crackpot notions?

Or should it rely on the considered views of an independent member of the judiciary, of unimpeachable integrity, who says that such scenarios are impossible under the Lisbon Treaty?

These are the questions facing us today.

Barry Walsh



Dublin 3


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