“We Have A Controlled Opposition, A Controlled Media And A Controlled Everything Else”


Last night.

Dail Eireann.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath makes a passionate contribution to a debate on the final report of the Michael McNamara-chaired Special Committee on Covid-19 Response.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly’s absence during the speech was noted by Deputy McGrath.

He said:

“The Minister for Health said in his contribution at the start of this debate:

‘Our numbers have increased in the past week … but right now we still have the third lowest rate of Covid per 100,000 population anywhere in Europe.’

Why then is there all this fuss? We have to consider the other health issues people are dealing with, including mental health problems. I am glad the Minister of State with responsibility for mental health is in the Chamber. There is not a mental health bed to be had in Tipperary. People cannot access a long-stay bed anywhere.

We must ask why the Minister did not stay in the Chamber to hear what we have to say. Has he got something against us? He was with us when he was in opposition, challenging the then Taoiseach and the then Minister for Health.

Now he is on the other side of the House, poacher become gamekeeper, and he has no interest in what we have to say. He is showing total disrespect for us and for the House.

Why must we have such a disproportionate response to the Covid pandemic? It is a serious issue and a single death is one too many. However, I do not trust the figures and I do not trust the PCR tests, and my concerns in that regard have been proven.

The Government will not let any of the scientists or medics with a contrary view within an ass’s roar of the discussions. We have a controlled Opposition, a controlled media and a controlled everything else. It is time we let the people of Ireland live.

We in this House are fine because we are getting our wages the same as we always did, as are other public servants. What about the unfortunate self-employed people? What about the unfortunate people aged over 66 who are not able to live and do not have a penny?

What about the small and medium-sized businesses, as Deputy McNamara and others referred to, that are not getting anything? The lifeblood is being squeezed out of them and they cannot get any bit of solace at all. We need to have balance in our approach instead of this disproportionate impact on people.

Of course we must live with the virus. We are hoping for vaccines but, as other speakers said, I expect we will be waiting. There are games being played by the big pharmaceutical companies, with the talk of being 95% ready or 95.5% ready. It is a big game about who will be first over the line with the magic bullet.

That magic bullet will not be what the Government seems to think it can be. The people of Ireland are depressed and downtrodden, with no bit of hope at all coming into Christmas. People are wondering whether shops and other places will be open or closed. Ordinary people want to get out and work. One would think there is no end to the money the Government can throw out for different supports.

The HSE is, and has been, dysfunctional. I am disappointed with [Fine Gael] Deputy [Fergus] O’Dowd for singling out two particular nursing homes. What about the HSE disasters? Who put the patients with Covid into the nursing homes but the HSE? It was not fit to manage this or any crisis. We see what is happening with the children’s hospital at this time. It is an abomination and it is scandalous. I have no faith in the Minister for Health. It is nothing personal but I have no faith in him or the HSE, who are a case of Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

The Minister told us in the Convention Centre that if he was an outsider, he would still be objecting and looking for answers, but he will not give any answers now that he is on the other side of the House. I am fierce disappointed with the way he is treating this House. No matter what debate he is taking, he is flying away from us like snow off a ditch in case we challenge him. It is shameful.”

Full debate here

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21 thoughts on ““We Have A Controlled Opposition, A Controlled Media And A Controlled Everything Else”

  1. Gabby

    It is customary for backbench deputies to speak to an empty Dail chamber. With social media however, the empty chamber speeches can today be downloaded by interested constituents.

    Should individual members of the oireachtas make contrarian and questioning speeches? Yes of course. If they didn’t, they would be leaving the field clear to the street dissidents. And they can do more than shout.

    1. f_lawless

      “street dissidents”?
      I would say he’s putting voice to the sentiments of ordinary people up and down the country who are frustrated and bewildered by the government’s cack-handed policies that are continuing to take such a devastating toll on so many with no cost-benefit analysis ever produced.

      It’s apparent that across the political spectrum, a dangerous groupthink has long set in. Challenging the government on fundamental policy issues regarding Covid, will see you branded a “contrarian”

  2. ian-oh

    I’m not a violent man, but if I saw Mattie drowning while I was feeding the ducks I’d be tempted to throw a few crusts at his vigorously bobbing face. Tempted, but I’d imagine common human decency would kick in. And I’d go back to feeding ducks.

    Christ but he does talk some crap.

      1. ian-oh

        Don’t bother engaging with me pal, I only budget 10-15 minutes a week for nonsense and some of it was used up listening to Matchy.

        1. Micko

          “I only budget 10-15 minutes a week for nonsense”

          Wait a sec Ian-oh

          Did we not ascertain this day last week that you are “not busy” and have “no time” but forever to do it in or something similar in a weird reverse crappy Time Lord kinda way?


          And, I had you back and forth last week for a good hour to deal with MY nonsense – so come on Ian-oh – give SOQ his due time allowance.


        2. Micko


          Thanks dude. Sure we’re all just peeing in the wind anyway.

          I all hope we can ALL go for Broadsheet drinks when this all blows over.

          I’d say we’d all kill each other ;-)

          1. Ian-Oh

            I’d say we’d all get on fine actually! Worth considering, open invite and some way of identifying the crowd?

            Have a good one!

          2. Micko

            We can all wear red roses and have a code phrase to identify each other.

            “The level of tin foil hat wearing in Belgravia is intense this year”

            Or some $h1te like that.

    1. John Smith

      @ ian-oh
      Insulting Mattie McGrath doesn’t in any way answer the points he has made and your description (supposedly humorous?) of what you would do if he were drowning reflects badly on you, not him. I can’t find one piece of crap in the whole of that reported element of the speech. It is the best exposition of the reality of the effect of the measures with which we have been inflicted that I have read, out of everything that has come out of the Dail. As SOQ says, it’s 100% common sense.

      1. ian-oh

        Oh no, it was totally serious my scene of a grown man drowning in a 3 foot duck pond while I tossed bread at him.

        Anyway, he was as usual (does he ever do anything else?) talking crap.

        But do carry on with the faux indignation, must be terrible being you, I’d say your pearls are well and truly clutched to death.

        1. John Smith

          @ ian-oh
          No indignation on my part – faux or otherwise. Just pointing out that you weren’t addressing the issues raised – and are still not, for that matter.

          Terrible being me? – that seems to be another side issue on your part, like the duck pond. However, I actually quite enjoy being me, at least I do when the powers-that-be aren’t behaving in a way that is severely damaging the country and impacting unnecessarily harshly on the ordinary every-day life of the population, like they are now.

    1. ian-oh

      Nobody has an issue with his accent, nothing wrong with it either but carry on making baseless accusations.

      For the record, I am not a rugby fan.

        1. Ian-Oh

          Nope, fairweather with the football and GAA but zero interest in rugby, even if they win.

          I’d even have more interest in cricket.

  3. SOQ

    Amazing how some of these chancers will do and say anything but actually engage with what the person- in this case Mattie, has to say.

    People are sick to the back teeth of these NPHET idiots and want them gone- preferably then prosecuted for malfeasance.

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