by Democrat reporter
THE PEOPLE'S Movement, one of Ireland's most prominent anti-EU campaign groups has been presented with the "Clog Award" by fellow anti-EU People's Movement campaigners in Denmark. It is the third time that Ireland, which rejected the Lisbon Treaty in June, has been presented with the award.
Irish flags were waved in the small town of Roslev during the evening party of the yearly general assembly of The People's Movement against the EU, Denmark, when the international "Clog Award" was presented to artist Robert Ballagh.
"For the third time we are giving it to Ireland. In the year 2000 it was given to Patricia McKenna, member of the EU parliament for the Green Party because she succeeded in making a court rule that a government should give equal treatment to the parties in a referendum. In 2001 it was given to Frank Keoghan from the National Platform after the Irish No to the Nice Treaty. And this year will we give it to Robert Ballagh from Peoples Movement after the Irish No to the Lisbon Treaty,"said Jesper Morville, chairman of the International Committee of The People's Movement against the EU.
Robert Ballagh is a well known artist and designer. His work is represented in many museums ans galleries, and he designed the last set of Irish currency before the introduction of the Euro in Ireland. He designed Riverdance as well as around 70 Irish stamps.
Robert Ballagh spoke his thanks for the award in Gaelic, his native tongue, as well as in English. He said:
"According to the EU's own rules a treaty is discarded if it not ratified by all member countries. But the elite of Ireland do not understand a No.
Just now the government of Ireland and its civil servants are scuttling around in the corridors of the other EU countries attempting to make them isolate Ireland in order to use that as an argument for a Yes in a new referendum. I call that treason.
We have a great challenge in front of us. We must defend democracy - not only in Ireland, but in the whole of Europe ," he said, referring to the fact that no other peoples in the EU have been allowed to vote on the treaty.
"The EU has achieved what no dictators have been able to do: cheating half a billion people of their democratic right."
Connolly Association, c/o RMT, Unity House, 39 Chalton Street, London, NW1 1JD