9/14/2009

Sinn Féin call for NAMA Referendum

Sinn Féin has called for all-party support with regards to a referendum on controversial NAMA legislation.


Arthur Morgan, Sinn Féin's Finance spokesman, called for politicians to sign a petition for President Mary McAleese demanding a popular vote.

Arthur said the proposed toxic assets agency was too important not to be put to the people.

“The consequences of NAMA are so serious for the Irish people today and for future generations that the legislation should be referred to the vote of the people,” he said.

Arthur said that Article 27 of the Constitution provides that the President may refuse to sign a Bill if it contains a proposal of such national importance that the public should be consulted.

“This has never been done before but if ever there was a Bill that contains proposals of such national importance that the will of the people should be sought, then NAMA is it.”

The NAMA legislation is to be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday, with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan due to outline more details about the controversial plan.

“As we state in our draft of the petition, NAMA would place an intolerable burden on state finances for the benefit of private property speculators, developers and corrupt bankers,”

“It would penalise our citizens now and in the future, entailing cuts in vital public services and higher taxes and levies which will fall most heavily on the weaker sections of the community.

“Let the people decide.”

This is a very sensible and reasonable request that everyone should support.

I suspect that both Fianna Fáil and the Green Party will oppose it however. Such is the mess that they have landed the country in that they fear the public response.

When a Government fears the opinion of the public you know that said Government needs to be replaced.

In a Republic the people are Sovereign, not the bankers, the developers or corrupt politicians.

The President has a duty to stand up for Irish Citizens.

Under Article 8.8 of Bunreacht Na hÉireann the President swears to dedicate their "abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland".

This is one such case where the President should refuse to sign the bill and defer to Article 27 of the Constitution.

Let the people decide!

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