Speaking in the Dáil on 28th February Teachta Adams said: “I want to welcome the announcement. It marks another failure by the government which tried to avoid a referendum. The Tanaiste has acknowledged this and you failed and that’s a good thing. Now the people will have their say. “Since the first drafts of this Treaty were leaked to the public last December Sinn Féin has argued that there is a democratic imperative to have a referendum.And I am glad that there is also clearly a legal case.
“I think the value of a referendum is that the people will have their say on a matter that is profound and will have long lasting importance.
“The question is: will the government accept the outcome? Are we going to have the usual re-run? Will the government phrase the question in such a way so the people will be able to have an informed debate as opposed to bullying tactics that have been used in the past? “I think it is crucially important that the campaign be informed and informative, that the details of the Treaty and its implications for the people of this state and the island be fully discussed and debated.
“Sinn Féin welcomes the announcement but let’s be clear. It’s an austerity Treaty it will not help to regenerate the economy. On the contrary it will condemn the people, particularly those in lower and middle income brackets, to this government’s terrible austerity policy. “It’s little wonder that Fianna Fáil supports this. Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael formed the consensus for cuts and we are going to see that replay again.
“You are the Taoiseach who has declared that you want to be able to take economic power back into this state. But with this Treaty you are taking what limited fiscal power remains in this Oireachtas and giving it to unelected and undemocratic officials in Brussels.
“So let’s have a good debate. Let’s have an informed debate. Sinn Féin is against this Treaty from what we know of it – we wait to see the question that will be put. We’re against austerity. We don’t think it’s fair. We don’t think it’s right. We don’t think it’s proper that working people have to pay the penalty for bad government and that this has to happen to pay off the golden circle, the big bankers and the bondholders and developers.