Irish Referendum Practice from McKenna (1995) to McCrystal (2012): How Irish Governments behaved unconstitutionally in serving the EU agenda

By Anthony Coughlan

We will fix that Stalinist body” … Comment by the late Brian Lenihan TD on the then Referendum Commission, Autumn 2001, in the lead-up to the second Nice Treaty referendum.

And How They Fixed It:
In December 2001 the Fianna Fail Government then in office put a Bill through the Oireachtas (Legislature) amending the 1998 Referendum Act so as to remove from the statutory Referendum Commission its function of setting out in a fair and neutral manner the relevant arguments for and against any proposed constitutional amendment. This was done on the last day before the Oireachtas rose for the Christmas holidays that year, when all stages of the relevant Bill were pushed through the Dail and Seanad in one day, with two days notice to the Opposition. Because of these circumstances this move went virtually unnoticed by the Irish media at the time.

1. Irish Citizens as Legislators: Tuilleadh

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