Independents: 'Overwhelming case for bailout referendum'

This week saw calls in the Dáil chamber for a referendum on the bank bailout and the IMF-EU deal. The motion, tabled by the Technical Group, was debated on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. As is procedure, the government tabled an amendment to the motion (effectively a counter-motion) in the name of the Minister for Finance. On Wednesday evening this amendment was voted on with the government winning the vote by 119 votes to 27, thereby defeating the Technical Group motion.

The full texts of the Technical Group motion and the government amendment to it can be read below. We have also provided a list of the TDs present and how they voted.

That Dáil Éireann:

 recognises that:
— the bank bail-out and the EU-IMF loan package arrangement imposes a hugely onerous debt burden on Ireland which will have profound consequences on the Irish economy and Irish society for years to come;
— there is widespread and justified outrage felt among very wide layers of Irish society that ordinary citizens, and most particularly those on low and middle incomes and the vulnerable in our society, are being forced to pay for the speculation and gambling of bankers, bondholders and developers by way of swingeing cutbacks and austerity;
— a wide body of civic, political and expert opinion, both nationally and internationally, believes that the debt burden arising from the bank bail-out, the EU-IMF package, and the conditions attached to the package in the memorandum of understanding, are economically unsustainable or potentially will become so, and will damage rather than enhance our country's prospects for future economic growth;
— EU treaties signed by this country, with arguably far less grave or immediate effects for our economy and society than the EU-IMF package, have been put to referendum;
— faced with a similar crisis to that in this country, the people of Iceland demanded and won the right to a referendum on a proposed IMF loan package;
— recent developments in Portugal confirm that the financial and economic crisis now facing Ireland is very much a Europe-wide problem and that wide layers of society in other European countries are questioning the current EU approach to dealing with the banking and financial crisis;
— the Pact for the Euro agreed at the recently held EU Council summit and the strengthening of EU powers for monitoring the economic and fiscal policies of member states, particularly those involved in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the proposed European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM), have potentially profound effects on the ability of EU member states and their citizens to decide their own economic policies; and
— there is an overwhelming democratic case for putting the continued bank bail-out and an agreement with such profound implications for the economic and social future of our country to a referendum of the people; and resolves to call a national referendum providing the Irish people the opportunity to accept or reject the bank bail-out and the EU-IMF loan package arrangement." — Richard Boyd Barrett, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins, Maureen O'Sullivan, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, Finian McGrath, Thomas Pringle, John Halligan, Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly, Shane Ross, Mattie McGrath, Tom Fleming. [1 April, 2011]


1.      To delete all words after "Dáil Eireann" and substitute the following:

  • commends the Government for taking decisions that will lead to a radical restructuring of the domestic banking system; return the banking system to long-term viability and profitability and break the massive dependence of the banks on the State;
  • acknowledges that these decisions will result in the banking system becoming the enabler of economic recovery by restoring public and market confidence in its financial health, management competence and ethical integrity;
  • supports all of the actions necessary for the Irish banking sector to become smaller, more focused on core operations, better funded and better capitalised;
  • support the Government's objective of strengthening overall fiscal accountability by separating bank risk from that of the Sovereign;
  • welcomes the Government's restatement of its commitment to the funding of the Irish banking system by the Central Bank and the ECB; and
  • welcomes the Government's commitment to bring forward as a matter of priority a Jobs Fund as part of its strategy to support employment growth and sustainable enterprise while adhering to the aggregate fiscal adjustment targets of the EU/IMF programme." – An tAire Airgeadais.

TDs voted on the amended motion as follows:

For the motion: 119

  • James Bannon
  • Tom Barry
  • Tommy Broughan
  • John Browne
  • Richard Bruton
  • Joan Burton
  • Jerry Buttimer
  • Catherine Byrne
  • Eric Byrne
  • Dara Calleary
  • Joe Carey
  • Áine Collins
  • Niall Collins
  • Michael Conaghan
  • Seán Conlan
  • Paul Connaughton
  • Ciara Conway
  • Noel Coonan
  • Marcella Corcoran Kennedy
  • Joe Costello
  • Simon Coveney
  • Barry Cowen
  • Michael Creed
  • Lucinda Creighton
  • Jim Daly
  • John Deasy
  • Jimmy Deenihan
  • Pat Deering
  • Regina Doherty
  • Pashcal Donohoe
  • Timmy Dooley
  • Robert Dowds
  • Andrew Doyle
  • Bernard Durkan
  • Alan Farrell
  • Frank Feighan
  • Ann Ferris
  • Peter Fitzpatrick
  • Charles Flanagan
  • Terence Flanagan
  • Seán Fleming
  • Eamon Gilmore
  • Brendan Griffin
  • Dominic Hannigan
  • Noel Harrington
  • Simon Harris
  • Brian Hayes
  • Tom Hayes
  • Martin Heydon
  • Phil Hogan
  • Brendan Howlin
  • Heather Humphreys
  • Kevin Humphreys
  • Derek Keating
  • Colm Keaveney
  • Paul Kehoe
  • Billy Kelleher
  • Alan Kelly
  • Seán Kenny
  • Séamus Kirk
  • Michael Kitt
  • Seán Kyne
  • Anthony Lawlor
  • Brian Lenihan Jnr
  • Ciarán Lynch
  • Kathleen Lynch
  • John Lyons
  • Eamonn Maloney
  • Micheál Martin
  • Peter Mathews
  • Michael McCarthy
  • Charlie McConalogue
  • Shane McEntee
  • Dinny McGinley
  • Michael McGrath
  • John McGuinness
  • Joe McHugh
  • Tony McLoughlin
  • Michael McNamara
  • Olivia Mitchell
  • Mary Mitchell O'Connor
  • Michael Moynihan
  • Michelle Mulherin
  • Dara Murphy
  • Eoghan Murphy
  • Gerald Nash
  • Denis Naughten
  • Dan Neville
  • Derek Nolan
  • Michael Noonan
  • Éamon Ó Cuív
  • Seán Ó Fearghaíl
  • Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
  • Kieran O'Donnell
  • Patrick O'Donovan
  • Fergus O'Dowd
  • John O'Mahony
  • Joe O'Reilly
  • Jan O'Sullivan
  • Willie Penrose
  • John Perry
  • Ann Phelan
  • John Paul Phelan
  • Ruari Quinn
  • Pat Rabbitte
  • James Reilly
  • Alan Shatter
  • Róisín Shortall
  • Brendan Smith
  • Arthur Spring
  • Emmet Stagg
  • David Stanton
  • Robert Troy
  • Joanna Tuffy
  • Liam Twomey
  • Leo Varadkar
  • Jack Wall
  • Brian Walsh
  • Alex White


Against the motion: 27

  • Richard Boyd Barrett
  • Joan Collins
  • Michael Colreavy
  • Seán Crowe
  • Clare Daly
  • Pearse Doherty
  • Stephen Donnelly
  • Dessie Ellis
  • Martin Ferris
  • John Halligan
  • Séamus Healy
  • Joe Higgins
  • Pádraig MacLochlainn
  • Mary Lou McDonald
  • Finian McGrath
  • Mattie McGrath
  • Sandra McLellan
  • Catherine Murphy
  • Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
  • Aengus Ó Snodaigh
  • Jonathan O'Brien
  • Maureen O'Sullivan
  • Thomas Pringle
  • Shane Ross
  • Brian Stanley
  • Peadar Tóibín
  • Mick Wallace 

(Voting results via