THE most popular submission to the Your Country Your Call competition was deleted from the contest website by organisers last week.

An ambitious plan by an organisation calling itself the Zeitgeist movement had called for Ireland to research a resource-based economy instead of one based on banks and profiteering. However, the proposal, which raced into first place as the most popular suggestion, was removed amid suspicion there had been an orchestrated campaign to support it.

The submissions list for Your Country Your Call so far has been characterised by the tongue-in-cheek nature of many of the proposals, which include a monorail in Dublin, a mile-high skyscraper in the midlands and the invention of a Loch Ness-style monster for tourism promotion.

The Zeitgeist proposal, however, was considered genuine, but organisers deemed that it was "not in keeping with the competition".

A spokeswoman for Your Country Your Call said: "It was indeed removed from the site last Monday. There were a number of reasons it was taken off, but the behaviour surrounding it broke our conditions.

"We had comments and submissions complaining about it, saying it was not a proposal to the benefit of
Ireland and it did not meet the criteria.

"It seemed as if there was an organised movement behind it, organising a high level of voting.

"The voting is not directly material in this competition, but we felt there was an element of spamming. We did communicate this decision directly with them."

James Kavanagh of the Zeitgeist movement said that he had still received no official statement on why the proposal had been jettisoned.

"I think there is a collective disillusionment with the website and there is simply no real justification for saying it was not in keeping with the brief of the website," he said. "They say they are looking for a truly transformational project that would create jobs. Granted, it won't create jobs, but many of the proposals wouldn't either.

"Our proposal was deleted prior to a lot of people being allowed to see it and yet even before it was removed, we had a huge number of people visiting the website who were seriously interested in this.

"That is not indicative of a spamming exercise. We took it as our responsibility to try and get a message out there."

Your Country Your Call, which is being championed by President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin, is offering €100,000 in prize money to each of two people, along with a further €500,000 to develop the winning ideas.