Last night, I appeared on Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3. The other panellists included Sarah Carey and Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times and Siobhan O’Donoghue of the Migrants Rights Centre.
You can view the show in full by clicking here.
Yesterday, Eamon hopped on his bike in order to push Alex White to the Dáil! We had a photocall outside the gates of Leinster House with the Labour Leader. The media seemed to take a liking to Eamon’s Tour de Merrion Square, with the aid of a little push by myself!
The Irish Independent:
‘”I hope we’re not breaking the law, lads?” he [Eamon] half-laughed anxiously, but the boys in blue weren’t the slightest bit bothered. They were outside Leinster House where weird stuff happens on a regular basis.’
You can see all the photos on my Facebook page. Simply click on the link on the right hand side.
Last Thursday night I featured on the panel for Nightly News with Vincent Browne on TV3. My fellow panellists were Today FM presenter Matt Cooper, Fionnan Sheehan of the Irish Independent and Sarah McInerney of the Sunday Times.
You can watch the show in three parts. The first regarding the scrapping of e-voting and Fianna Fáil by clicking here; the second in relation to the following morning’s newspapers by clicking here; and the third and final part by clicking here.
I was on the panel for The Sunday Supplement on Today FM at the weekend. My fellow panellists were Lucinda Creighton TD of Fine Gael and UCD lecturer Moore McDowell. The programme was dominated by the events in Antrim the previous night.
You can listen to the show in full by clicking here.
I appeared on the radio twice over the weekend and you can now listen back to them. On Friday I was a guest on RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime programme with Mary Wilson to discuss the events of the week. My fellow panellists were Alison O’Connor of the Sunday Business Post and Mark Hennessy of The Irish Times. You can listen to the debate by clicking here.
On Sunday I appeared on Sam Smyth’s Sunday Supplement on Today FM. The panel included journalist Alan Ruddock and Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick. You can listen to the show in full by clicking here.
The Prime Time Investigates programme on RTE last night revealed a shocking story of the exploitation of immigrant workers that demands urgent action by the government.
There can be little doubt that a minority of employers are engaging in the shameful exploitation of workers. What was revealed last night was nothing less than a systematic pattern of failure to pay even the minimum wage, provide contracts of employment, honour tax and PRSI regulations and adhere to safety standards.
One of the most disturbing revelations in the programme was the blatant disregard shown by a number of haulage companies for safety regulations which restrict the number of hours and days that a driver can work without a break. Failure to adhere to these regulations involves not simply unfair and unjust abuse of workers, but it also exposes other road users in Ireland and abroad to real danger.
Of course exploitation by some employers is not limited to immigrant workers, as many Irish workers also have to endure similar conditions. We now need far more effective action at government level to stamp these practices out and to ensure that all workers are protected from abuse and exploitation.
There are a number of measures that were promised when the Towards 2016 Agreement was concluded more than three years ago that have still not been implemented. For instance the Employment Law Compliance Bill, which is designed to put the National Employment Rights Authority on a statutory basis was published in March, but nine months later the government has still not started the legislative process. Other promised legislation to regulate the employment agency sector has not even been published and we still do not know when the EU Directive on Agency Workers will be given effect in this country.
While there has been increase in the number of labour inspectors, additional personnel and resources are still required if we are to stamp these sort of practices out and ensure that all workers get fair treatment.
I have been on two radio shows in the past number of days, and these are now available online. On Sunday, I was a guest on Sam Smyth’s Sunday Supplement on Today FM. Other members of the panel were Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton and the Minister for Integration Conor Lenihan. You can listen to the show by clicking here.
Last night I was on The Late Debate on RTE Radio 1 with Senator Deirdre DeBurca, Michael Clifford of the Sunday Tribune and Aine Kerr of the Irish Independent. You can listen to the show by clicking here.
We must exercise great care in a debate on broadcasting standards. There is a long tradition of politicians in chambers repeatedly having a go at broadcasters and broadcasting. We must be extremely careful regarding the way we proceed and not just for the reason that many politicians cannot afford to be critical of the media because the day might come when those in the media might turn the tables and have a go at them. I am more concerned about the issue of principle.
Despite what we might like to think, we politicians occupy a privileged position. What we say in the House is included in the Official Report, broadcast on television and published in the media, and people pay some attention to it.
What we say can and often is broadcast, or at least we hope it will be. Our words are also published in the media and people pay attention to them. That is a privilege we ought not to abuse or take lightly. We should resist the temptation, and I am not saying anybody has not done so during this debate, to grab the opportunity to engage in partisan or sometimes even personalised attacks on broadcasters, especially in the political field.
The word “liberal” has been repeated many millions of times in recent weeks in America – who is a liberal, who is more liberal, if Senator Obama is liberal and what does “liberal” mean anyway.
It is another of those words. It is often used by people who are not socialist but they have a good view about what they think socialism is or should be and they indulge themselves in that. To come back to the notion of liberal, Senator Walsh went on to speak about people who wish to shape public opinion on an issue. Often when that point is made, it is a case of somebody saying: “I do not like those people shaping opinions; I would prefer opinions to be shaped by me or somebody who holds my viewpoint on an issue.” It is not an objection on principle but an objection to the person doing the opinion shaping.
This issue struck me quite often during the debate on a slightly different subject. It is an analogy worth drawing, although not many Members might agree with me. During the debate on political censorship and section 31 of the Broadcasting Act, as a broadcaster I was strongly opposed to the section for reasons which Senator Walsh might describe as liberal in the sense that I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I do not believe broadcasting should ever be permitted to be used for incitement, but we have legislation to prevent that. However, in terms of the exclusion of views or the expression of views on radio and television, it is necessary to exercise considerable care that we do not leave ourselves open to the accusation that we are simply trying to exclude views with which we disagree from being broadcast.
I joined the panel on last night’s edition of RTE Radio 1’s Late Debate. Also on the panel were Sean Ardagh TD, Harry McGee of the Irish Times and Aileen O’Meara of the Sunday Business Post. The discussion centred around the changes to the Medical Card Scheme and the 1% levy.
You can listen to the show in full by clicking here.