Referendum Commission launches Yes to Lisbon campaign

Judge Frank Clarke, chairman of the Referendum Commission and deciding judge in the ACC/Liam Carroll property controversy, launched his Yes to Lisbon campaign today (News at One, 2nd report, 1st item).

The Referendum Commission was set up in 1998 and initially had the role of setting out the arguments for and against referendum proposals.

This role of explaining both sides of the argument was withdrawn in 2001 restricting the Commission to simply explaining the subject matter of referendum proposals.

This invariably means the promotion of the Government’s view and criticism of the anti-government side as was clearly evident when the previous Commissioner, Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, launched his Lisbon I campaign and was again evident as Judge Clarke launched his Lisbon II campaign today.

Public Inquiry will be keeping a close eye on the Referendum Commission for the duration of the campaign for any sign of a neutral or, Zeus forbid, a criticism of the Government side.