ICMSA say farmers expressing “serious misgivings” about having to vote ‘blind’ on what’s going to constitute ‘durable relationship’

The President of ICMSA, Denis Drennan, has said that farmers contacting him about the upcoming Referendum were expressing serious misgivings about the Government’s inability or unwillingness to present voters with a practical definition of a ‘durable relationship’.   Mr. Drennan said that all types of scenarios were easily imagined where, in the absence of a strict and workable definition, estates could be undermined or even wiped out through legal contests brought by individuals against the estate of the deceased individual all based on ‘durable relationships’ with the deceased individual with potentially the same constitutional standing as his or her marriage.

Mr. Drennan said that obviously ICMSA was most concerned with viable and successful farm succession, but the questions were no less valid and pressing for any individual with an asset or property.   It was unfair and unreasonable of the Government to ask the electorate to vote ‘blind’ and while a key definition was lacking, Mr. Drennan said he could not imagine farmers giving the proposed changes the support the Government seemed to expect. 

What is required is a clear statement from Government on the definition of a ‘durable relationship’ and a clear commitment that current relationships recognised by the state will be in no way undermined by Government legislation or the courts arising from the proposed change to the Constitution, he concluded.

Ends     23 Feb.

Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Ofice