Jubilation among partisans of the ‘No’ camp gathered in Dublin Castle greeted the official announcement that Irish voters have rejected the European Union’s reform Treaty.
Members of the government were less visible.
The finance minister, Brian Lenihan, told the media he was “very, very disappointed,” and called it “a sad day for Europe and for our people as well — But that’s democracy”.
In a national referendum held yesterday, democracy was delivered by slightly more than half the voters eligible — that was the turnout.
A little more than 53% of them cast a ballot against the Lisbon Treaty. Just over 46% supported its ratification.
Ireland ranks as one of the EU’s most pro-European countries. But opponents of the treaty said it would reduce small countries’ influence and undermine Ireland’s military neutrality.
Electoral returns showed opposition to the pact concentrated in working class areas where people are suspicious of Brussels and of their country’s political elite.