Decision day for Ireland in key EU referendum

A cyclist passes a placard for the No campaign in central Dublin Photo: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

"We shouldn't cut off our nose to spite our face." That's how one Yes voter at a Dublin Polling Station summed up the case for backing the new European Fiscal Compact intended to save the Euro area from further economic meltdown.

Most mainstream politicians here also argue that Ireland has to back the treaty or risk being barred from seeking any fresh bailout when its current loans run out.

A polling station at Doolargy National School in Ravendale, Dundalk Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

But the No Campaign, led by Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, claims Ireland will only face further cuts and austerity measures if the treaty goes ahead.

The Irish Referendum won't stop other countries pressing ahead, as the rules say only 12 member states have to back the treaty.

But a No vote would be a huge blow to hopes of rescuing the Euro. It would signify that another country has rejected austerity and doesn't want to swallow any more economic medicine, as demanded by Germany's Angela Merkel.

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