Sunday, August 30, 2009

Irish Minister slams hard line anti abortion group over their Lisbon campaign

Irish minister for Foreign Affairs has rounded on COIR and Youth Defence which he says are the same organisation. Youth Defence is a hard line fringe anti Abortion group with links to the US religious far right . COIR are their front organisation which shares the same office which, they think has less negativity attached to it. Youth Defence have previous been exposed for harbouring neo Nazi supporters such as Justin Barrett. Barrett's pal James Reynolds the Libertas chairman in Longford has also launched a campaign against Lisbon claiming that it is a farmers group.

COIR claim they have 1 million leaflets ready to go. The one I have seen have no mention of abortion. This time the lies are about jobs and wages. Despite having the second highest minimum wage in the world COIR say that Ireland will be overrun with "cheap labour" and the minimum wage will drop 7 euro to1.80.

Youth Defence, Libertas and COIR cadre are obviously working together behind the scenes on their xenophobic far right campaign.

COIR=Taliban= Bad for Ireland.

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 07:49 Irish Times

Cóir campaign 'cynical' - Martin

BARRY ROCHE, Southern Correspondent and ELAINE EDWARDS

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has launched a strong attack on some anti-Lisbon treaty groups accusing them of running a campaign based on lies and untruths.

Mr Martin said the Irish people deserved an honest debate that focused on the real issues involved in the Lisbon Treaty and there should be no role for groups "cynically trying to hide their role".

Mr Martin accused anti-abortion group Youth Defence of masquerading behind "their front group, Cóir" and he said no one should be in any doubt but that Coir and Youth Defence were one and the same organisation.

He said Cóir's leaders were all associated with Youth Defence, the two organisations shared the same address and Cóir's poster designs all come from Youth Defence.

"In fact as of early last week, there was not one single mention of Cóir on the door or windows of it supposed offices which were in fact decorated solely with Youth Defence logos and posters," he said.

Mr Martin said the posters put up by Youth Defence on Friday night claiming that ratification of Lisbon would be a betrayal of those who died in the Easter Rising was "both a disgrace and an insult to the heroes of 1916".

"It is the duty of every person who respects the great generation which sacrificed so much for us to come out and work against these people and what they stand for," he said.

"Pro-Europeans must start speaking up and pointing to the clear fact that it is the ideas of anti-EU groups which represent a move away from the ideas of sovereignty and identity upon which this state is founded.

"Their insular, defensive approach to Europe has no serious precedent in our history and it has nothing new to offer us now," said Mr Martin in a speech to the Ógra Fianna Fáil conference in Cork this morning.

He also accused Youth Defence of peddling lies and untruths with their claims that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty would lead to abortion becoming available in Ireland and to the national minimum wage being cut to €1.80 an hour.

"People on all sides are entitled to be heard but the issues in this referendum are too serious to let a shadowy and extreme group distort the debate with a deeply cynical campaign," he said.

Spokesman for Cóir Richard Greene said attempts by Mr Martin to "smear" the group's campaign were “entirely pathetic”.

Mr Greene said the Minister’s comments “smacked of desperation", since he was "clearly aware that Cóir’s canvassers are already having a significant effect right across the country”.

“The Minister can bluster as much as he likes, but the fact remains that the Lisbon Treaty does nothing for Ireland and Cóir are engaged in a nationwide campaign to ensure that voters understand the treaty and the reasons to vote No,” said Mr Greene.

He said Mr Martin had previously “tried and failed” to attack Cóir by alleging it was a front for Youth Defence.

“When will the Minister realise that voters have no problem with either Cóir’s pro-life stance or the fact that, while Cóir is an independent organisation, we are lucky enough to have the support and energy of some Youth Defence members.”

“Fianna Fáíl spent their time accusing Cóir of lying about Lisbon and abortion last year. Yet their own research showed that most people believed Cóir on the issue,” said Mr Greene.

Mr Greene said Fianna Fáil and the other political parties had "thoroughly disgraced politics, and cost the taxpayer tens of millions of euro paying for tribunals investigating the murky and dishonest nature of Irish political life".

He said that the Minister’s "real problem" was that Cóir volunteers were busy canvassing and postering with the same excellent material produced last year and were having a significant effect on voting intentions.

“We have over 2600 volunteers this year, an increase of 30 per cent over last year; a million leaflets are going out and 11,000 posters are being erected. Anyone is welcome to join Cóir and they are doing so in increasing numbers. In the meantime, Fianna Fáil are terrified of going near the doors
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