Fine Gael Dublin Central TD and Vice-Chairperson of the Oireachtas European Affairs Committee, Paschal Donohoe, has today (Wednesday) said that the holes in Sinn Féin’s campaign against the Stability Treaty have already been exposed, after it was revealed that a Sinn Féin leaflet being circulated nationwide is quoting three economists who have advocated a Yes vote. Deputy Donohoe tackled Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams on the issue at this afternoon’s meeting of the Sub-Committee on the Stability Treaty Referendum.
“The back hole in the Sinn Fein call for a No vote is their inability to guarantee continued funding for our schools, hospitals and social welfare payments. But even I was shocked when I came across the Sinn Féin leaflet calling for a No vote, which quotes the economists Colm McCarthy, Karl Whelan and Seamus Coffey.
“All three of these experts have said while they have some reservations about the contents of the Stability Treaty, a Yes vote is in Ireland’s best interests. To take the example of Karl Whelan; the Sinn Féin leaflet uses the following quote: ‘the economics of this treaty are pretty terrible’. What the leaflet doesn’t do is finish the quote, which goes on: ‘I think that, on balance, the arguments favour Ireland signing up to it’.
“Sinn Féin is choosing to selectively quote Mr Whelan. But they don’t stop there. They also use a quote from a recent article from Colm McCarthy, which includes the line: ‘As an exercise in addressing the eurozone’s twin banking and sovereign debt crises, the fiscal compact makes no worthwhile contribution’. If Sinn Féin bothered to read the full article, or indeed any number of articles penned by Mr McCarthy recently, they would know he has strongly advocated a Yes vote , describing the Government’s approach as ‘the correct response, unavoidable and in the country’s best interests’.
“Finally, the Sinn Féin leaflet quotes from a contribution Seamus Coffey made in a recent presentation to the EU Affairs Committee. Mr Coffey did not give his own opinion during that contribution, but he makes his views clear on his blog, where he states: ‘there is little to be gained from rejecting the Treaty’.
“This all says an awful lot about the many weaknesses in Sinn Féin’s argument. Not only do they wrongly claim that Ireland would be able to magically access funds in the future from mystery sources if we reject the Treaty and the backstop of the ESM; and not only do they condemn the financial mistakes of the past while refusing to sign up to sensible rules to stop these mistakes from being repeated; now they are resorting to misrepresenting the views of others. Sinn Féin should withdraw this leaflet and explain why they have misrepresented three impartial experts to support their claims.”
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