Minister Roche says HAC call ‘unwise’

Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche has said that the HAC (Hospital Action Committee) appeal for a no vote in the Lisbon Treaty is ‘very unwise.’    The HAC have appealed for the Roscommon electorate to vote against the Lisbon Treaty as a protest over feared downgrading of Roscommon Hospital.     Speaking in Roscommon on Thursday Minister Roche said that he was aware of the HAC stance but felt it was ill-judged. ‘You shouldn’t drag domestic policy into that (the referendum). I understand the concerns of people regarding the Hospital but let’s not reject the Lisbon Treaty over that.’     He was speaking as he visited various locations in County Roscommon last week on the Fianna Fail Yes (for Lisbon) bus.    During his visit Minister Roche spoke to the Roscommon People, taking the opportunity to appeal for a yes vote in the June 12 th Referendum.    ‘This is essentially about Europe upgrading how it does its business, it’s about more democracy and real power being given to national parliaments. There are big issues to be dealt with, issues like global warming, asylum seekers, crime, etc. Cross-border crime for example is a big issue here.’    Minister Roche said that when the Irish Government last held the EU Presidency a lot of work had been put into the Lisbon Treaty. Passing it will help protect our neutrality, he said, adding that small countries will benefit from the Reform Treaty being passed.    Meanwhile Roscommon Fianna Fáil Senator Terry Leyden said that Fianna Fáil is leading the Yes campaign for the Lisbon Reform Treaty, with a positive campaign that is reaching into every community in County Roscommon. ‘Fianna Fáil is proving what a force it is in Roscommon in the Lisbon Reform Treaty Campaign to date,’ said Senator Leyden. ‘There are Fianna Fáil posters all over the county promoting a positive message about Ireland’s membership of the European Union, and party activists and local elected representatives are starting to canvas door to door promoting a Yes vote in the upcoming Referendum on June 12th. ‘The Fianna Fáil YES bus visited Roscommon on Thursday last and it received a great response everywhere it went, travelling through Boyle, Frenchpark, Ballaghaderreen, Loughglynn, Castlerea, Ballintubber and Roscommon town. ‘I was in Roscommon town to meet the Minister for European Affairs when he arrived and together, with our local councillors, we canvassed for a Yes vote in the upcoming Referendum. ‘Minister Roche took questions from people as we travelled through the town and we received a very positive response. This Lisbon Treaty may be a complicated document, but its impact is not, and Minister Roche was only too happy to answer all the questions that people had for him.’ .