Its 3pm on a cloudy Dublin Friday, and, as the results of the Irish referendum come flooding in, it could hardly be more clear what a kick in the teeth – and possibly to another part of the political establishment’s anatomy - the Irish electorate has delivered by rejecting the European Union’s Lisbon treaty.
Tipperary North: 50.2 per cent No to 49.8 per cent Yes, on a turn-out of 58.5 per cent… Tipperary South: 53.2 per cent No to 46.8 per cent Yes, on a turn-out of 55 per cent… Waterford: 54.3 per cent No to 45.6 per cent Yes, on a turn-out of 53 per cent…Limerick East: 53.9 per cent No to 46.1 per cent Yes on a turn-out of 51 per cent. Read more
At 12 O’clock on Friday, after three hours of counting in the Irish referendum, it is starting to look as if Irish voters have rejected the European Union’s Lisbon treaty - and, to borrow a phrase from the late Saddam Hussein, touched off the mother of all political crises in Europe.
“We’re not calling it, but it looks like it’s going to be No,” one senior government official told the Financial Times. Read more
The moment Dermot Ahern, Irish justice minister, conceded that defeat was inevitable yesterday lunchtime the action in Brussels, shifted from the Berlaymont, the 13-storey star-shaped home of the European Commission, to a scruffy Irish bar on the other side of the street.
No campaign activists clustered in the shadow of the ‘Berlaymonster” they loathe, to celebrate the Irish rejection of the Lisbon treaty. It felt as though they had been joined in Kitty O’Shea’s by almost every reporter and camera crew in town. Even supporters of the Yes campaign were drawn to Kitty O’Shea’s in order to find a journalist to give their views to. With a pint (sorry half-litre), of Guinness in one hand, Nigel Farage, leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence party, accosted Andrew Duff, the British Liberal MEP who had played a role in drafting the original constitution. Would he accept defeat, Mr Farage demanded? Certainly not to him, was the riposte, before Mr Duff stomped off to address the waiting microphones. Read more