Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Cattleman opposes Lisbon II referendum in legal challenge

Cattleman opposes Lisbon II referendum in legal challenge

A Co Tipperary cattleman has told a High Court judge he intends challenging the legality of the Government's new referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

John Burke, of Duncummin House, Emly, Co Tipperary, was granted leave to serve short notice on the Taoiseach, Justice Minister and the State of his intended challenge.

Mr Burke told the High Court he believed the Irish electorate had on June 12, 2008, cast their vote in a referendum in which the result was a definite no.

Mr Burke told Judge Liam McKechnie he was seeking a judicial review of the Government's October 2 referendum on the simple grounds that No means No.

He added that no written evidence of legal changes to the Treaty had been put before the electorate.

He said there had been televised handshakes between the Taoiseach and his counterparts in the rest of Europe -- but no presentation of documentation guaranteeing change.

Mr Burke will be allowed to put his case tomorrow, in the presence of State lawyers, for leave to bring a judicial review seeking to strike down the forthcoming Lisbon II referendum.

"That vote still stands and the Taoiseach has since told the electorate they have been misinformed and that they will have to vote until such time as they decide to vote the opposite," Mr Burke told the court.

Mr Burke said the Taoiseach had told the electorate that if they voted again he would assure them that certain crucial issues, which would effect the well-being and stability of Ireland for generations to come, would be legally dismissed from the Treaty.

He had told the electorate they would effectively be voting on an amended treaty to that which they had already rejected.

Mr Burke said that by imposing a second vote on the Irish people the Taoiseach was in direct breach of his duty to uphold the Irish Constitution which could not co-exist with the Lisbon Treaty.

He proposes that the original vote be declared as passed and that the proposed forthcoming referendum be declared unconstitutional.