Gilmore: Ireland could apply to IMF for money even if treaty rejected

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said Ireland could apply to the IMF for a second bailout even if the country votes against the EU Treaty referendum.

But he said he does not know if the IMF would give Ireland money or how much it might cost.

Mr Gilmore made the comments as the Labour Party's official campaign calling for a 'Yes' vote in the May 31 referendum got underway.

The Environment Minister Phil Hogan will sign the order for the referendum today and campaigning will being in earnest.

The Tánaiste was flanked by his deputy leader, Minister Joan Burton and TD Dominic Hannigan for the party's official campaign launch just a day after the 'Yes' side became embroiled in a row over access to funds in the event of a second bailout.

An article in the Sunday Times said the IMF could lend to Ireland even if the Treaty is rejected, despite the fact that Ireland would be denied access to the European bailout fund, one of the main selling points for the Treaty as far as the Government is concerned.

But Mr Gilmore has said the news has not made life more difficult for those advocating a 'Yes' vote.

Fianna Fáil has also come out in support of the Treaty, but TD Eamon O'Cuiv has again defied the party and told Radio na Gaeltachta that he is advising people to vote 'No'.

Mr Gilmore said he takes Fianna Fáil's support very seriously, but is "unsurprised" by Deputy O'Cuiv's different view.

Most Read in Ireland