The Taoiseach has announced that the second referendum on Nice is to take place on Saturday, 19 October.

Speaking in Donegal where a cabinet meeting was held to discuss the timetable for the Nice Referendum, Mr Ahern said it would be the first time a national vote had taken place on a Saturday.

He urged everyone to support the measure, saying it would be a disaster for this country and the applicant countries for it to be rejected.

Mr Ahern said the cabinet had discussed tactics for the campaign which he said would be a long one.

The Tanaiste, Mary Harney, said a Saturday referendum would allow the maximum number of voter turn out.

Meanwhile a number of Dáil parties, Independents and other groups opposed to the Nice Treaty have come together to form the 'Alliance Against Nice'.

The alliance has accused the Government of failing to illustrate the implications of the Treaty and it accused the pro-Nice lobby of obscuring the issues.

The alliance includes the Green Party, Sinn Fein, Joe Higgins from the Socialist Party, in addition to independent TDs Tony Gregory and Finnian McGrath.