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Ireland approves Lisbon Treaty second time around

Fearful for the future, voters opt not to antagonize European allies.


The yes campaign was boosted by wealthy individuals such as Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer of cut-price airline Ryanair, who took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers. One depicted opponents as losers, including Ganley, who failed to win a seat in the European Parliament this year.

Many voters who supported the no campaign last time may also have been put off by British right wing support for a rejection of the treaty to bolster plans by the British Conservative Party to have a referendum on the UK’s commitment to Europe. The presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic have yet to confirm their parliaments’ ratification of the treaty, which is officially designed to enhance “the efficiency and democratic legitimacy” of the EU but which opponents say weakens democracy and undermines workers’ rights.

Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Dick Roche said, “Regarding the Polish and Czech presidents, it is a matter for them and it is a matter for their people. The ball is now firmly in their court. All I can say is that Ireland has lived up to its responsibilities and it is now up to them to live up to theirs.”

With some votes still to be counted on Saturday it was clear that the margin for the yes campaign was approximately 60-40 percent. In the first referendum in June last year the outcome was 53-47 percent against the treaty.