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[07/07/2005] Bertie’s Papal Visit

Thursday 7 July 2005

******    BERTIE AHERN'S PAPAL VISIT TODAY   **********

The moves to have Bertie Ahern visit Pope Benedict in Rome today were
almost certainly initiated by the Department of Foreign Affairs before the
French vote on the EU Constitution five weeks ago, on 29 May.

Iveagh House, which decides these things, will have been acting on the
assumption of a French and Dutch Yes to the EU Constitution in their
referendums -  in  which case we would all now be readying ourselves for
an Irish referendum on the same Constitution in October.

Bertie's Papal visit will have been designed by the Department of Foreign
Affairs to polish his Catholic credentials in order to appeal to an
important section of voters in that expected Irish EU referendum.

Because of the French and Dutch votes however, the Iveagh House people will
now have had to draft a different article on "What I am going to tell the
Pope"  for the Taoiseach to put his name to in today's "Irish Times".

But Bertie Ahern's Rome visit should almost certainly be seen as  the
aborted remains of what was originally intended as a piece of cynical
referendum engineering.

As originally planned, the Taoiseach's Papal visit will also have been
designed to help get the Irish bishops "on side" for the EU Constitution
referendum then thought likely - just as their Lordships were led by the
noses to back the Treaty of Nice referendums in 2001 and 2003, even though
the  Irish bishops had never taken a partisan position on such secular
political matters in the EU referendums that were held in 1972(EEC
Accesssion), 1987(Single European Act),1992(Maastricht) and 1998(Amsterdam).

It is probable that the European Committee of the Irish Hierarchy, which is
staffed by Eurofanatics who led the Hierarchy as a whole into quite
shameful and counter-productive positions in support of deeper EU
integration in the Nice Treaty referendums, will have been consulted by
Iveagh House in concerting Bertie Ahern's Papal visit with a view to
helping out with Ireland's then expected EU Constitution referendum.


Anthony Coughlan

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