‘Scarcely Believable’


They’ve wiped the tapes.

Ken Foxe writes:

Nearly ten years of footage of debates from Leinster House that was accessible to the public has been permanently deleted from the Internet by the Oireachtas.

The massive bank of footage was widely used by journalists, academics, members of the public, and was particularly popular on social media in catching out u-turning politicians.

However, the database disappeared from the Oireachtas website earlier this month without warning because they said there was “minimal traffic” looking at the files.

The move has been condemned by politicians who said it was scarcely believable that a valuable resource like that could simply be let vanish.

…The archiving of the footage had originally formed part of the Oireachtas’ eDemocracy Unit, which planned to use the web to open up politics to a wider audience.

The person behind the Twitter account newsworthy.ie, who has used dozens of the clips to show up contradictions or u-turns by politicians over the years, said the Oireachtas excuses for deleting the archive simply did not add up.

For finding clips in future, he must now make a formal request that must then go to an off site archive and takes at least several days to be returned.

A request he submitted for two clips of Leo Varadkar appearing to contradict himself on paying a Sunday premium to employees has still not been dealt with a week later.

Nearly ten years of video footage of Dáil, Seanad, and committee hearings taken offline by the Oireachtas (Ken Foxe)

Thanks Mari Maxwell


16 thoughts on “‘Scarcely Believable’

  1. GiggidyGoo

    Minimal usage? why would that be acceptable as a reason to delete it? its not as if having it there is costing much.
    It is not a reason. It is fear. It is doctatorship, on its way to being a dictatorship. It is North Korea in a caibín. It is censorship.

  2. Michael H

    If it can be accessed via a request then it’s still all there. It must be re uploaded immediately. We must find out whose idea it was and who signed off on it. FF and FG have the most to hide and will be the happiest with this development

  3. Cian

    Send a FOI request to the Oireachtas asking for information on who requested this, minutes of all meetings where is was discussed and who okayed it.

  4. Chuckenstein

    Transcripts right back to 1919 are still available. Might not be full technicolor but does the job just as well.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      Although it remains an excellent resource, it doesn’t do the job just as well. Sometimes the transcripts are inaccurate. And it’s also far easier for a politician to gloss over a u-turn captured only in some dry transcript, than it is to ignore a video clip of said u-turn, which can quickly gain a wide audience.

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