Seanad debates

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

10:30 am

Photo of Michael McCarthyMichael McCarthy (Labour)

I join Members in seeking a debate about politics and in particular, as I have stated consistently, on the role played by the media. There has been a huge chipping away at the terms and conditions of Deputies and Senators and at those of their colleagues on cash-strapped local authorities. After the introduction of the swiping system on 1 March, one would have imagined that journalists' appetites regarding where Members are and what they are doing would have abated somewhat. However, a freedom of information request has been made, the response to which, incidentally, will cost the State money, as to how many people swiped and how often they swiped for a two-week period in March. Given the enormous economic difficulties faced by thousands of people, one would imagine that journalists' time would be better spent in concentrating on the real issues.

On the other issue raised in this House on the reaction to comments made by the outgoing president of the Garda Representative Association, my view is simple. There are thousands of workers in this country, both public and private. We should recall the business agenda of some colleagues who propped up banks, such as our colleagues in IBEC, for example, whose six largest members were the banks that engaged in the criminal practices that have resulted in billions of taxpayers' money being required to prop up that system. While these guys have got off the hook, teachers, gardaĆ­, nurses and local authority workers now must pay the price. I never heard as much excitement on the part of the Government when its own Members were propping up banks to the tune of billions.


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