Supporters and opponents of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty were using the last minutes to campaign on the eve of Ireland’s referendum.
Outside a Dublin department store, hundreds of people queued for Christmas jobs with some believing a yes vote would boost an economy that faces crippling debt. Unemployed Claire Gillespie said: “I’m going to vote yes. I think it’ll be good for the economy. It’s better than voting no. We could be left on our own if we vote no.” In June 2008 just over 50% of Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty. However, many who registered no votes last time said the once-booming Ireland has been humbled and needs Europe again. Irish Cabinet Minister Mary Hanafin said: “People voted ‘no’ for very good reasons last time. They were concerned about issues that were raised about neutrality, about taxation, the right to life, about losing our commissioner. Our colleagues in Europe have given us legal guarantees on all of those issues and because they have been addresses, and because people are looking to the future economy of this country and our place in Europe, we believe it will be a ‘yes’ vote.” Although Dublin taxi drivers seem certain to vote no. They blocked the streets of central Dublin on Thursday to rally for a “no” vote. They are worried about EU support for deregulating taxi licenses. ‘No’ Campaigner Declan Ganley said: “I think there’s going to be a ‘no’ vote. The Irish people will not be taken for fools, and as pro-Europeans, we’ll vote this thing down.” The opinion polls are however suggesting the opposite, that this time round Ireland will vote yes.