The IFA has reiterated its support for the Lisbon Treaty after a group claimed its decision to back the treaty was undemocratic.

An IFA spokesman stressed that its executive council, which has endorsed a Yes vote, was a democratically elected body representing all 85,000 members.

'Farmers are aware that Ireland needs to stay at the heart of Europe and win over friends and allies, in order to influence important decisions,' said a statement.

'Farmers for No', which represents around 50 farmers, claimed it was time that the IFA adopted a democratic approach to issues like Lisbon, saying debate on the issue was denied.

Group chairman James Reynolds said opinion was divided among farmers on the Lisbon treaty and the IFA was not speaking for all farmers.

Farmers for No is comprised of former county chairmen and current members of the Irish Farmers' Association.

However the IFA has stressed it is campaigning for a Yes vote and 'is encouraging all farm families to come out and vote Yes.'

Earlier, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said that the Government believed that voting Yes in the Lisbon Treaty referendum would contribute to Ireland's economic recovery.

The second referendum on the Treaty takes place in just over six weeks time.

On RTÉ’s News At One, Minister Martin said the Government wants to provide comprehensive information about the guarantees Ireland has won from its European colleagues on the key issues of concern during the last referendum.

He said the Government had binding legal guarantees from EU leaders that Lisbon would not affect Irish policies on military neutrality, taxes and the right to life and he said there would be no loss of an Irish EU Commissioner.

O'Hara highlights investment

Intel Ireland’s General Manager said voting Yes to Lisbon would maintain Ireland's attractiveness to multi-national investors.

Jim O'Hara said US multi-nationals and international investors have viewed Ireland as playing a central role in Europe and it is one of the reasons why they have invested here.

He said anything that would enhance that perception would be a good thing and every time we create uncertainty and doubt it does not help us.

Mr O'Hara said the company's call for a Yes vote was an unusual move but he wanted to send a clear message that from a business perspective a Yes vote mattered to the future prosperity and growth of Ireland.

He said last time he and others did not speak up on this crucial issue as they believed a Yes vote was a foregone conclusion.