Thursday, November 08, 2012

Supreme Court slams Government

Supreme Court allows appeal
in referendum bias case:

The Supreme Court has ruled today that the Government spending of public money on an information campaign on the Children's Referendum was not fair, impartial or equal and violated constitutional law. The appeal was heard by a five judge Supreme Court comprised of the Chief Justice Ms Susan Denham, Mr Justice John Murray, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, Mr Justice Niall Fennelly and Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell.

The Court held that the information in leaflets and on a website did not conform to the required principles laid down by a landmark judgment in 1995, known as the McKenna judgment. This was a previous judgement granted to former Dublin MEP, Patricia McKenna who challenged and won her case against the Government spending public funds on its own political propaganda in referendums.The principles prohibit the use of public funds to promote a particular outcome in a referendum.The Court ruled that extensive passages in the booklet and on the website did not conform to these principles. The material also included a misstatement (in other words; lies)

In a unanimous decision, the Court granted a declaration that the State acted wrongfully in spending public money on the website, information booklets and advertisements in relation to the referendum. The case was taken by Mark McCrystal of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin who claimed the Government was wrongly using €1.1m of public funds to promote a Yes vote, something which was not allowed under the McKenna Judgment.  Mr McCrystal had sought a declaration that the respondents were not entitled to use public money on a website, booklet and an advertising campaign concerning the referendum. He also sought an injunction requiring the State to remedy the situation. However, the Court did not grant an injunction as the Court assumed the State will stop distributing and publishing the material.

The Government had denied their information campaign was biased towards a Yes vote.The case was given priority by the Supreme Court as the referendum takes place on Saturday.The full reasons for the decision will be given next month.The link to the Children's Referendum website,, has been deactivated.

Meanwhile, IRISH TIMES  journalist and No campaigner, John Waters, has said that the Children's Referendum would be a "breach of natural justice" following the ruling. Speaking on the RTÉ radio this morning, Mr Waters said the Government had misappropriated public money in breach of the McKenna Judgment, and if there was a Yes vote, it would be "contaminated".He added that in seeking to change the Constitution, the Government had behaved unconstitutionally. On RTÉ television's "Frontline" programme on Monday, Mr Waters trounced Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald's false arguments supporting the so-called "Children's Rights" referendum amendment to the Constitution which is to be voted on next Saturday.

The full programme can be viewed here:

It is quite apparent that the majority of Yes supporters in this audience are professionals who have a vested interest in the expansion of state imposed child-care services from which they will derive financial benefit and the majority of NO supporters there are ordinary people who wish to preserve the rights of all citizens, including children,(who are citizens from the moment they are born) against further state intrusion into family life by means of this spurious referendum.

                                     The cover of the illegal booklet issued by the Government

Caught out again in blatant illegality and misuse of public funds, the Government's cynical power grab and attempt at diminishing parental rights and thus, the children's natural rights to association with their parents already enshrined in the Constitution is exposed for the sleazy anti-social proposition it is.

It has emerged in the news coverage that Minister Fitzgerald was the principal author of the condemned booklet and, in defence, she stated that she had sought and got advice from the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, on the legalities. Both of them should now resign having wasted over €1M on an illegal publication at public expense.

Mark McCrystal and Kathy Sinnott outside the Supreme Court after the judgement was delivered:

Full text of Supreme Court judgment see here:

Defend Our Constitution! 
Vote NO on Saturday, 
November 10th.


Áth Cliath/Dublin
Samhain/November 08 2012

No comments: