Wexford Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Nice Treaty, David Forde, has welcomed the fact that the referendum date has finally been set and in particular that polling is to be held on a Saturday.
"We welcome the fact that the date has been set at last and that it is a Saturday. We have long argued for Saturday polling to facilitate students and workers and we look forward to an increased turnout of No voters.
"This campaign will be a battle for democracy. The government refused to implement the people's decision in the first referendum. They openly disregarded and defied that decision. For that reason alone many people will be voting No this time.
"It will also be a battle between the political and big business elite in this State and the ordinary citizens. The larger parties have joined with the employers' organisations in a ridiculous campaign of scare mongering, threatening an end to EU membership and the virtual collapse of the Irish economy if the people vote No.
"At a time of cutbacks they are spending millions of euro in a campaign of deliberate deception, economic and emotional blackmail, and bribery. To their shame the leadership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions have joined this unholy coalition, thereby misrepresenting their members who voted No last time.
"They are grasping at straws in their efforts to sell a treaty from which Ireland has nothing at all to gain but a lot to lose. If there were any substance to their threats, then surely logic would dictate that we must not pass this treaty which would only grant the EU even further powers to sanction us at another point in time should we choose to exercise our lawful right to decline any future treaty that is not good for Ireland?
"For the sake of democracy both in Ireland and the EU, Sinn Féin will be urging people to vote No for a second time. At home we want a state where the political elite can be called to account and must respect the will of the people. We want a rejection of the Nice Treaty, which would end the EU as a partnership of equals and create a two-tier Europe.
"Sinn Féin has already begun our referendum campaign. We will be canvassing extensively and bringing our message the length and breadth of the County. We are confident that the decision of the people last year will be re-confirmed at the polls on 19 October."