Former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald and No to Lisbon campaigner Declan Ganley faced off this evening in the Graduates’ Memorial Building at a well-attended debate hosted by DU Politics Society.
Other guest speakers were former SU President and Campaign Director of Ireland for Europe, Andrew Byrne, and Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins.
The debate centred around questions of democracy, accountability and Irish neutrality, with an extra dose of criticism for the Government, represented by the Chair of the debate, Minister Éamon Ó Cuív.
Tempers flared at times during the debate: Mr Higgins made an angry “cut him off” gesture at PolSoc Chair, Barra Roantree, when he felt that Minister Ó Cuív’s concluding remarks were too long, and both Higgins and Ganley left plenty of room between them on the No bench, adding credence to Mr Byrne’s claim that the various elements of the “No” campaign were uneasy bedfellows.
Despite an eloquent and forceful speech from Ganley in particular, the house vote was a four-to-one split in favour of the “Yes” side.