And so, it begins.

Dick Roche TD, who rejoices in the title of Minister for Europe, said his ‘personal view’ was that Ireland will have to vote again on the Lisbon treaty.

Speaking at the Humbert summer school, Roche said he could not see ‘how key elements in the treaty could be given effect simply by legislation – particularly as we have already held a referendum on the whole treaty.’

But former minister Mary O’Rourke said ‘no matter what way it is dressed up or undressed, another referendum is not going to work’.

Meanwhile Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan outlined legislative changes that could give effect to much of the treaty without the need for a referendum.

The remaining sections would then be put in referendums, Regan said.

Former diplomat Noel Dorr disagreed, and thought the referendum result meant there would be legal problems in legislative approaches.

Meanwhile, Catholic cardinal Sean Brady said the problem was the spread of godlessness in Europe, which put off God-fearing Irish voters.

All of which speaks of a lack of imagination. No one is thinking about new ways for Europe to develop, only about hacks to get the treaty through following the No vote.

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.

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