Lazy Thinking


Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry

“I want to draw an analogy between the Minister’s Department and other Departments and employees of the State for whom, frankly, Covid-19 has been great cover for doing nothing.

I had dealings with one State agency lately, where no one will be back in that office until the end of August. They are working from home and it is necessary to talk to an answering machine.

Most people have been allowed to return to work, particularly in the private sector. The staff in my office did not stop for an hour since the onset of Covid-19.

We respected the lockdown, but worked from our office and dealt with people on phones etc..

Many elements of our State agencies, Departments and local authorities, however, are using this situation as cover to lie on the couch and watch box sets, returning an odd call here and there and doing the maximum of the minimum to tick over during this period.

Productivity has fallen and that is unacceptable. Many in the private sector are back again at full tilt. I know the Minister has worked at full tilt throughout this time, I know I have, as have many colleagues, probably all, in the political world. Many people are not, however, and that needs to be addressed.

Whether it is opportunism, coming from the labour relations side, laziness and-or poor management, it needs to be addressed because the country needs all its officials working at full tilt to get productivity levels up to the maximum so we get through this crisis in the best possible way.”

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry speaking  in the Dáil on the Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020 on Tuesday.



Deputy General Secretary for the Public Sector John King

SIPTU Deputy General Secretary for the Public Service, John King, said:

“Earlier this week, SIPTU representatives took the view that Deputy MacSharry’s theatrical attempt to grab cheap media headlines was not worthy of a response.

However, given the volume of emails, phone calls and messages from members over the last 24 hours since the deputy repeated his outrageous comments we believe we must give public expression to the level of anger, disappointment and hurt felt by public service workers working across the country.

Deputy MacSharry’s comments clearly demonstrate a fundamental lack of appreciation and understanding of the efforts made by hundreds of thousands of public servants who have worked around the clock to stop the spread of the coronavirus from day one of the outbreak.

….Our members are demanding Deputy MacSharry listens to the advice of his parliamentary colleagues in Fianna Fáil and other parties, withdraws his comments, apologises and puts an end to this kind of misleading rhetoric that only serves to divide public and private sector workers at a time when the economic recovery of the country requires unity and solidarity.”

SIPTU members express anger and hurt at “lazy” comments by Marc MacSharry TD)


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43 thoughts on “Lazy Thinking

  1. Joe

    Sounds like a TD tasked by the coalition to create a deflection and failing, due to the ongoing government clusterphuque .

  2. Barry the Hatchet

    “We respected the lockdown, but worked from our office” You weren’t really respecting the lockdown then were you, Marc? The advice was, and continues to be, that those who can work from home should do so. Loads of private sector employers still have huge numbers of employees working from home. And it’s a good thing they do because otherwise public transport would be overwhelmed.

  3. Jack

    My team have higher productivity with home working. No one tried from commutes, no queuing for coffee, etc. Wellbeing through the roof = more productivity

  4. Mary (Never) Wong

    He’s dead right of course. I wish he’d name the State Agency responsible though.

    1. curmudgeon

      Holy shít! A politician telling the truth about our massively wasteful, overpaid and underworked public sector!?!?
      Damn! Better run to your union reps and get them to bully him into rolling back on his statement, no matter the fact the dogs on the street know its true.

      While private sector workers got covid dole, public sector workers got full pay, whether they were even working!

      1. Cian

        “massively wasteful, overpaid and underworked public sector!?!?”
        which part?

        The nurses? Social Welfare? Passport office? Or the librarians? Prison officers? Local authorities?

        Perhaps some parts are overpaid and/or underworked (just like most private businesses). But that isn’t true of all 300,000 of them.

        1. curmudgeon

          Did you forget to mention the hard working teachers for some reason Cian? Slaving away these last few months so they are…

          Oh and btw there are considerably more than 300,000 pubsec workers these days, they’ve hiring like crazy, sure why be more effiicient when you can become a manager instead eh.

          I’d call the childrens hospital kerfuffle wasteful too, am I wrong? How many pubsec workers/civil servants lost their jobs because of that again?
          While I’m at it, where is the money for all their defined benefit pensions coming from – their own funds or my taxes?

          1. Cian

            you said that they are all massively wasteful, overpaid and underworked public sector.

            I suggested that while some are, most aren’t.

            You came back with a few examples of waste/underwork which doesn’t refute my point.

          2. Fergalito

            Ah the lazy auld teachers argument popping it’s predictable head up. Are you belly-aching and generalising due to the summer holidays they get? It’s hard to know, all you’re essentially saying is “Teachers … because.” Do you have kids in school or are you just parsing a flaccid tabloid headline?

            Fair enough on the children’s hospital but a swallow doesn’t make a summer just like one example of poor governance doesn’t mean all public servants are tarred with that brush.

            I have no problem with anyone making a reasonably intelligent critique of the public service but you’re just jumping into the time-honoured shallowness of the cack-pool that pits public servants against everyone else.

            Anyway, i’m worse for replying ….

          3. Mary (Never) Wong

            Primary school teachers have been doing absolutely nothing other than picking fluff off their navels and trying to get preggers (again) for the last 4 months as you well know fergalito (if that is a real name).

          4. Cian

            You’re talking through your botty.

            Teachers get preggers at Christmas so the baby is due in September so they get a full year off.

  5. shotopunx

    I can 100% assure you that MacSharry is full of it. Particularly in relation to phone calls. My job requires me to be available by phone at all times during business hours. In normal circumstances, two lines are operated, but due to system limitations with WFH, this means I have the only phone that the main line diverts to.

    I have not been able to take a proper break during my shifts as a result. Yesterday alone, I took 83 unique calls. My job has become significantly more demanding WFH, and I have been busting my arse to help the members of the public who require the services of my state funded org.

    I haven’t whinged or moaned about this previously, but when this specimen, that is embarking now on six weeks holidays after having worked for only a month, decides to spout BOLLOCKS like this, I have to speak up.

    Politicians like him want to privatise the public service. That is what stupid comments like this are about.

    1. Micko

      A few friends in the private sector who are working from home have expressed similar.

      At their desks for the entirety of 9-5, very little breaks, no chats with work colleagues.

      They’re Miserable…

    2. Mary (Never) Wong

      Well done, have a good lie down now for yourself for what is it – 40 days paid annual leave?

      You also just did one days work, you should be so proud.

      Now what about the other 100 days a year you are ‘at work’?

      And you’re one of the guys who actually shows up.

      MacSharry is 100% spot on. He wasn’t talking about you specifically, silly.

  6. Anne

    “Most people have been allowed to return to work, particularly in the private sector. ”

    That’s not true. I know plenty in the private sector WFH still.

    I know of a few friends working in the public sector, WFH who are saying they are very productive, more so, as they have less distractions at home.

  7. Wouldntyouwonder

    Every property services provider in the country is back working since early June, but the Property Services Regulatory Authority are all still working remotely. No calls answered, and people not getting responses to emails. This also from the body that i was told (but not fact checked) has the highest rate of absenteeism of all public bodies.

  8. Rob_G

    Christ – Leo must be cackling with glee at the hames that FF are making of things at the minute.

  9. RuilleBuille

    Crazy McSherry aims his bile at guards, nurses, postal workers, all of whom much less than him.

    His sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

        1. SOQ

          NOT in the state sector- you’d need to be convicted of murder within CIÉ and even then it would be a maybe.

    1. Mary (Never) Wong

      He aimed it at one State Agency. I’d love to know which one. I suspect it’s the SEAI.

      1. Cian

        I know that there has been an amount of redeployments from the underutilised-parts of the public service to the busy parts. The Blood Transfusion board needed extra bodies to man the phones and act as “crowd control” – to ensure social distancing; these were quiet public servants that got temporarily moved. Something similar happened for those Covid testing stations. I image that means their original offices aren’t able to function as usual – but were deemed less important.

        1. Mary (Never) Wong

          The Education and Training Boards are still ‘working’ at full complements of staff despite having no training courses they can run other than a few token ones online and perhaps a new cohort of apprentices. There is so much waste and padded pensions you would not know where to start. Why are these people not all laid off and made re-apply, I’ll never know.

          1. SOQ

            Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) tried that- the only fresh faces were after a face peel.

  10. Joe Small

    I’m in the public sector, working from home. I’ve started going in one day a week for my sanity. Hate the commute but miss the workplace. So much of my job depends on informal contacts and relationships in my organisation – its very hard to replicate on zoom or by phone calls.

    I was expected to do the same or more work from home by my manager and have found it bloody hard, especially with a young family.

    I’ve had dealings with Marc MacSharry for over a decade now. He is overcompensating for living in the shadow of his father’s reputation.

  11. greenfingered

    Lol, it’s amazing how many Public Sector people who are working 24/7 have found the time to be on Broadsheet today. I am sure there are plenty of jobs that can be done from home but there have to be quite a few that can’t and the argument that those people were all redeployed is a nonsense.

    1. curmudgeon

      You’ll only get the poor mouth fro them. If life really was so hard in the public sector or it wasn’t so wildly overpaid then why O why do they never leave when they get their foot in the door.

      Jobs for life, pensions the likes the rest of us cannot afford and 72% of workers do not get, largely because we are taxed so hard to pay theirs.

      1. Cian

        If the life of a public servant is soooo good and they are sooo bad – why don’t you become one?

        1. curmudgeon

          Actually I am. Got a permanent position with a city centre state body about 6 weeks into the pandemic. Because the last straw for me was the Covid Dole for private sector, full pay for public sector.
          A truly disgusting two fingers to all those who actually pay the bills round here.

          Now instead of being a tax contributing private sector contractor, I get to be another utterly unnecessary pubsec PAYE leech, who is managed by no less than 3 managers – none of whom have the technical qualifications suitable for managing me. Brilliant!

          Of course I still do contracting at the weekend and after hours now that the demand is back as businesses are allowed re open, and also becuase I give a shit about my customers.

          And everything Mac Sharry said I will echo. The entire public sector is full to the brim of desk jockeys who take the jobs for granted, only do the bare minimum and gain on the job rubbish qualifications to claim they have a higher skill level than private sector to justify their much higher pay. The pensions however, there can be no justifying – its legalised theft, and its bankrupting the country.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            You could always quit. Nobody’s forcing you into the “legalised theft” of the overpaid, underworked utopia you were happy to join.

            I hope you’ll tell your superiors about all this faffing around on the internet you’ve been doing, wasting my taxes that pay you.

  12. OJohnny Keenan

    Just follow the high levels of money wasted and the low levels of productiin, and the answer will reveal itself. Id say local authorities would be a good place to start.

    Serious culling of qangos and middle mgt in HSE and RTE would be of great benefit.
    Anyone gleefully employed in a pen pushing position through cronyism and nepotisim can jog on to. That would be a lot of GAA heads. Seen as this professional organisation can’t/won’t pay the entertainment. Instead get them cushy numbers doing f all bar contributing to level 42. The game is up lads. Im blowing the final whistle on this, the biggest scam of all.
    Ye can have yere water cooler moments on yere own time at the parish pump and at ye’re own expense. #PayToPlay

    If all the 300000 +++ public servants were doing their job properly this country would really be the best country in the world.

    Catholic Conservatism still has a lot to answer for. It’s roots are firmly embedded in the public and civil service.

    The system needs to be shook up.
    Get in young blood with real qualifications and new ideas.

    Get rid of  the deadwood. Through incompetence or early retirement. Did anyone ever hear of anyone getting sacked in the public sector for not doing their job properly?
    If you can’t do your job in the private sector you’re gone, no questions, no inquesrs, no tribunals of enquiry at tax payers expense.

    At the very least ALL servants of the state should have to do a current competence test. That would answer a lot of questions. For the rest of us at least.

    Getting back to the moral arbiters of our communities. The stunters of growth.
    To see PAC use GAA as an example for wholesomeness, righteousness and honesty, and a stick to hit FAI with has to be the biggest non talking point of the Dail year.

    Please wake up and begin to question what is so blatant and obvious #Ignoreland 

    Who is really in it for themselves?
    Quite a lot, it seems.

  13. Michael Neville

    Looks like Fianna Fail has lost the public service vote. I wonder what will be the next group they will attack, this type of politics is much easier than delivering your election promises to voters

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