Page 4, 3rd July 1992

3rd July 1992
Page 4
Page 4, 3rd July 1992 — FR BILLY Fitzgerald, (Catholic Herald, June 19) seems to be

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FR BILLY Fitzgerald, (Catholic Herald, June 19) seems to be

advising the people of Ireland to vote "yes" to Maastricht and to ignore those pointing out the very real dangers of such a vote.

Well, I suppose it is all a bit irrelevant now since the Irish people have given a resounding "yes" to Maastricht, but I think Fr Fitzgerald should not be allowed to simply dismiss the genuine concerns of those of us who went out and voted "no" for very sound reasons.

I voted "no" because I don't want the Trish Constitution (which we in this country fought hard to secure) to be over-ridden by the European Court. I want to be able to exercise my democratic rights as an Irish citizen and not to be subject to laws and decisions made in the European Parliament. I want to belong to a sovereign, independent, democratic country accountable to its own people.

I am totally opposed to all forms of conscription and compulsory military service and I believe in our policy of nonalliance in military conflicts.

I am also deeply concerned about the possibility of abortion being forced upon our people against our wishes, as has happened with the recent Supreme Court decision which seems to allow abortion up to birth "in certain circumstances" that cold, formulated phrase.

By voting "yes" to Maastricht, one was also voting for the infamous Protocol which supports the position on abortion in Ireland after the Supreme Court's decision. In other words, one was actually voting "yes" to abortion.

Fr Fitzgerald does acknowledge that there is more to this whole matter than merely economic concerns. He writes "It would be wrong, of course, to suggest that the only applicable criteria are economic.

"There are certainly other important considerations. For instance, what are the implications for the traditional Irish policy of military neutrality? Could it be that we would have to subscribe to a policy of compulsory conscription into a future European Army?"

None of these deeply disturbing questions is answered by Fr Fitzgerald, yet he extols the virtues of Maastricht and advises us to vote "yes".

Maybe he does not consider such questions to be of vital importance to our people, but for those of us to who. they are of singular importance, the vote simply had to be "no".

Anthony Redmond Dublin

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