‘Clarity’ debate to be held in Buncrana

Joe Murphy. 2012cg51
Joe Murphy. 2012cg51

An Inishowen man is hoping to clarify the Fiscal Treaty argument by staging a balanced debate in Buncrana next week.

Joe Murphy will be chairing a debate on the up coming EU Fiscal Treaty in Buncrana’s Plaza on Friday May 18 at 8.15pm.

Joe believes it is important Inishowen is not left behind and the people are given full information about the treaty.

“People have been asking me a lot of questions about the Treaty,” explained Joe. “But I don’t want to tell people to vote one way or the other.

“This is a very important vote and the Treaty needs a lot of studying and looking into so it’s up to the people to make up their own minds.”

Joe has invited TDs Padraig MacLochlainn and Thomas Pringle along to the debate to argue for the ‘No’ campaign, but he is finding it difficult to attract people from the ‘Yes’ campaign.

“I’ve asked Joe McHugh and Charlie McConalogue to come but they both turned me down. I think Charlie is worried that it will turn out like Letterkenny, which I can understand and I think he thinks there might be more left wing people there.

“But I want this to be a strong debate for both sides. We don’t want Inishowen people forgotten or left out”

Joe maintains this is not a political affair and thinks it could be a good opportunity for people on both sides of the campaign to air their opinions.

“There is a lot of uncertainty out there and I think people need to know what the Treaty will entail. I am keeping my opinions on it out of the equation as I am chairing the debate and I want to be fair and balanced.

“But when I asked Joe McHugh [Fine Gael TD] he had a previous engagement and the local councillors I contacted thought he would be the best man for the job as he is the Director of Elections in Donegal for the Government’s campaign.”

The Buncrana man said Deputy McHugh invited him to a meeting in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel the night before the debate is to take place on May 17.

“Joe [McHugh] invited us along to his night on the Thursday before and he said I might get someone to join the debate then, but that’s too short notice. I know Sinn Fein are organising a night in the Colgan Hall in Carn to debate the Treaty as well but they are both political events organised by the parties; I don’t want my debate to turn out that way.”

But despite his initial let downs from the Yes side, Joe is hopeful he had hold his balanced debate.

“I’m hoping something gets organised before the debate. John Ryan [Fine Gael councillor] said he would definitely come but he has a family function the same night, which is fair enough.

“I just think it is a great opportunity for both sides to tell the people of Inishowen what they want them to hear and give people in the peninsula an even crack of the whip and a fair and honest chance to make up their minds.”

The Buncrana man says he will keep trying to put on pressure on local representatives as he believes it is “vital” to Inishowen.