Minister for the Environment says Irish decision on electronic voting will not be influenced by Dutch television report.

Earlier this week a group of computer experts in the Netherlands demonstrated how easy it is to carry out electoral fraud by hacking into e-voting machines. The group said that the machines were flawed and showed they were able to hack into the machines in a matter of minutes. This has sparked a huge debate in the Netherlands which goes to the polls in just six weeks using e-voting machines.

Ireland has already spent €50 million on buying e-voting machines from the Netherlands and storing them.

Minister for the Environment Dick Roche has said that his view on electronic voting machines has not been altered by the television report in the Netherlands. He said that changes have been recommended to the machines before they will be used. Ireland's voting machines would remain in storage for the foreseeable future and would only be introduced when there was public confidence in the technology. He has no plans to scrap the machines on the basis of the report in the Netherlands.

Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd said that questions need to be answered if the country is to have confidence in the machines.

Ireland’s e-voting machines remain in storage throughout the country.

In the meantime, Irish eyes will be on the Dutch when they go to the polls next month.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 October 2006. The reporter is Barry Cummins.