Seanad debates

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

2:30 pm

Photo of Joe O'TooleJoe O'Toole (Independent)

Senator Fitzgerald's point on the World Trade Organisation and farmers' attitudes towards the Lisbon treaty is something to which we should return. As I understand it, that debate remains to be continued. As parliamentarians and elected public representatives, we should keep a close watch on this. I was in France when the referendum on the European constitution was held and on the evening it was rejected I met five people who had voted against it. All five were in favour of the treaty but they voted against it for different, spurious reasons. I agree with those who oppose the treaty and who dislike the manner in which the previous Taoiseach referred to them as "loo-lahs". That is unacceptable and it was a mistake. I respect those who have genuine reservations and are opposed to the treaty for valid, intellectual, logical or other reasons. However, whether somebody is for or against the treaty, he or she must stand for republican values and those of the citizen. The idea of farmers using their views on the WTO as a reason to oppose the treaty is unacceptable and we all should say so. People may vote against it for other reasons——


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