Killing The Story


13/12/2010 Labour introduces four new candidates.

Labour Senator John Whelan

Labour Senator John Whelan was a contributor on RTÉ’s Late Debate, presented by Cormac O’hEadhra, on November 5.

During the interview, there was this exchange:

John Whelan: “I believe the contract should have been awarded, the record will show, to Bord na Móna. I believe that Bord Gáis, and this is why the Government has gone in, Alan Kelly has gone in and stripped it back, the board has to be reconfigured, reconstituted and…interrupted.”

Cormac O’hEadhra: “Wait now, this is very serious John. What you’re saying this evening, surely, does that not render the validity of the Bill, the Act all null and void?”

Whelan: “No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.”

On November 14, Anthony Sheridan, of the blog Public Inquiry, noted that Senator Whelan’s relevant remarks were removed from RTÉ’s radio playback service.

Yesterday, the Irish Times reported on RTÉ’s decision to remove the remarks, quoting an RTÉ spokeswoman saying: “The comment on The Late Debate was removed from playback following an internal editorial decision. This can happen on occasion with a live programme.”

It also reported Senator Whelan, a journalist, saying: “I said what I said in the knowledge of the full import of what I was saying and I did not need the privilege of the House to do so… There was no libel and no slander. It was fair comment on a matter in the public interest.”

However, this morning, Mr Sheridan writes:

“I see the Irish Times took up my story surrounding the dramatic revelation by Labour Senator John Wilson that Bord Gais had made their pitch to establish Irish Water under false pretences.”

“Bizarrely, however, the Irish Times took the same line as RTE and, effectively, censored the principal allegation made by Senator Whelan.”

“Here’s the exact charge made by the Senator against Bord Gáis:”

“No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.”

“Here’s how the Irish Times reported his allegations:”

“No, what I’m saying is this: Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water . . . and they haven’t delivered.”

“Leaving out the words; ‘under false pretences’ strips the report of any relevance, it effectively kills the story.”

“So much for the ‘paper of record’.”



RTÉ took ‘internal editorial decision’ to remove exchange with Senator about Irish Water (Irish Times, Thursday, November 20)

Irish Times censors RTE censored programme (Anthony Sheridan, Public Inquiry)

20 thoughts on “Killing The Story

  1. Soundings

    Another Labour politician facing the abyss, making dramatic, but unspecific claims about a subject in the news.

    What precisely were the false pretences? What did BG say or represent which was false? When did they say it? Who said it? Why was it false? Unless drowning Labour politicians (or indeed drowning politicians from other parties) are able to provide meat to the bone of their dramatic claims, then why does anyone give them the time of day? I suppose paper or webspace never rejects ink/typing.

  2. Bozo

    State media being told what to do by the state shocker. IT has long been a shill for the ruling party..god knows if you dug deep enough what kick backs they might be getting. RIP IT ALL DOWN AND START AGAIN!

  3. epson aculaser c100

    did xact same thing last year ‘odunoughes skips’ evolved and we set up a new co. trading as ‘NEW WORLD ECO STAR RECYCLERS’ or some suchshite to get the contract…can’t member to be honest ….but biz basically consists of shite loada kips in a potholed riddled yard of ballymount inds est….you k’now its all how you present your self

  4. scottser

    had a trawl through the indo today, there’s at least half a dozen opinion pieces about the dangers of socialism, the futility of protests and general scaremongering on behalf of irish gravy. the powers that be are really closing ranks in a very obvious way. the new tack is to wheel out the troika and blame europe for the extra years of austerity if we don’t start paying for water. enda was bertie’s top student, it seems.

    1. scottser

      shocked at your christmas preparations being undermined, frilly? bet you’ve got the jumper n all. when’s your xmas work do?

      1. Dissident Citizen Frilly!

        Slippies and jimjams

        And a range of hats

        I already have a string of do’s pencilled in on the fridge

        Trying to think of excuses now tbh

  5. CousinJack

    My understanding is that semistates were asked to bid for IW,
    only BG and BnM bid, ESB choice not to despite political pressure to
    clearly BG was then the only viable choice (BnM being a basket case)
    the big problem IMO was the team that was selcted to develop and lead IW contained almost no one in the senior management team with a vertically integrated utility background (it is mainly private sector experienced consultants and local authority officials)

  6. Onetwothreefour

    Maybe the Irish Times edit is something to do with it being legalled? ‘False pretences’ is a fairly strong allegation if you have a nervous media lawyer.

  7. Hashtag Diversity

    Labour are doomed. It’s gonna take a lot more from these no-hopers to ensure their pensions are even fatter. Remember, with Labour: There’s No Smoke Without Salmon.

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