By Aisling Kett
The DCU youth branches of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Féin have spoken of their contrasting views and plans regarding the upcoming EU Fiscal Compact referendum.
DCU Young Fine Gael will campaign for a yes vote on campus. Chairperson of the society, Ryan Hunt, said students should vote yes in the referendum as it concerns an important issue.
He said the effects of a no vote are unclear, but would leave Ireland without the funding it currently receives to help run the country. He believes the treaty will pass at referendum.
The society will campaign by canvassing on campus but Hunt said students are entitled to make up their own minds. They are hoping to get DCU business school lecturer, Tony Foley, to write an article for The College View, giving students an independent view on the treaty to help them decide how to vote.
DCU Sinn Féin will campaign for a no vote in the referendum. The society staged a protest against the treaty outside the Helix last Tuesday where Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, spoke at an EU jobs fair. Eight members of the society handed out leaflets and carried banners to encourage a no vote.
The society believes the treaty will inflict more years of austerity on the country. Chairperson of the society, Sean Tyrrell, said this would deter foreign investment and create job losses, perhaps forcing students to emigrate. Secretary David Clougher said the treaty is “not a good deal for Ireland, not a good deal for the EU but a good deal for Germany and France”.
Labour DCU are undecided if they will campaign for a yes vote. The Labour party is campaigning for a yes vote but Labour Youth has not yet made a statement. Chairperson of the society, David Healion, said the society would have a meeting to make this decision. If the treaty is not supported he does not expect members to follow the party line.
Healion said he supports the treaty and students should vote yes, as Ireland will need the EU if more bailouts are required. He is unsure whether the treaty will pass but hopes it will.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced the referendum in the Dáil on February 28th. A date has yet to be set by the government for the referendum.