Tag Archives: Bryan Dobson

From top: The PSC card; Minister for Employment and Social Protect Regina Doherty

This morning.

Minister for Employment and Social Protect Regina Doherty spoke to Bryan Dobson on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

It followed the release of her joint statement with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe last night – stating that it would be “inappropriate, and potentially unlawful, to withdraw or modify the use of the Public Services Card or the data processes that underpin it”.

This is despite the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon’s findings on the card following a two-year investigation.

Contrary to the DPC’s report, the Government also said “the processing of personal data related to the PSC does in fact have a strong legal basis, the retention of data is lawful and that the information provided to users does satisfy the requirements of transparency”.

They said they came to this conclusion on foot of advice from the Attorney General’s Office.

Ms Doherty also said the PSC “has not seen any mission creep”.

In this morning’s interview, asked how much a legal challenge to Ms Dixon’s report would cost the State, Ms Doherty said “it would be in the Circuit Court so it probably wouldn’t be very expensive”.

At the outset of the interview, Mr Dobson asked Ms Doherty for her reaction to the DPC report.

Regina Doherty: “So Bryan, first of all, at the outset, I’d like to say that we, in the department and Government, have the highest respect for the office of the Data Protection Commission and the important work that they do.

“But, however, as a minister, I have to take my own responsibilities for Government policy with equal measure of respect and we have taken an awfully long time in the last two and a half weeks to really carefully and methodically consider and reflect on the final report from the commission and we’ve taken both our own legal advice from the Attorney General’s office and external counsel advice.

“And unfortunately, we don’t accept the findings in the report and will challenge them.

“And, to that affect, we wrote to the commission yesterday, seeking at the earliest opportunity, an opportunity to meet with the commission to discuss the findings and to outline exactly what it is that we find is the legal basis and it’s a very strong legal basis, as far back as 1998 when the conception of the idea of cross Government services, across any Government platform was conceived by that Government. But successive Governments since then have changed the legislation to allow and to anticipate the sharing of the data.

“So that Irish citizens can do their business and identify themselves just once and then be able to access services in an efficient manner.”

Bryan Dobson: “But just on a couple of specifics here. Her requirement that you stop processing data in those areas where she [Helen Dixon] says there’s no legal basis for the card, are you going to do that or are you going to continue processing data?”

Doherty: “What we’re going to do is to continue acting on the basis of the legislation as it would have passed in 2005….”

Dobson: “In defiance of her finding?”

Doherty: “In our basis, gives a very clear and legal underpinning of what it is that we’re doing and so at the very early…”

Dobson: “She says you don’t have that legal basis, it’s not there.”

Doherty: “Well, to be respectful, where we have a difference here is in the interpretation of the Social Welfare and Consolidation Act of 2005. My legal advice is incredibly strong, that we have a clear and unambiguous legal basis to do exactly what we intended to do from 2005 and what successive governments have done since and…”

Dobson: “Minister, she spent two years investigating this and her conclusion is that you don’t have the legal basis. She’s the person who’s charged. It’s her responsibility to protect the public interest, to protect all of our privacy and our data. And she says you don’t have the legal right to do this.”

Doherty: “And again, not to labour the point, Bryan, we believe that we do have the legal rights and the legislation to underpin exactly what we’ve anticipated from 2005 and the legislation and that’s why we’d like to sit down with the commission and discuss her concerns and to see if there’s any way we can overcome her concerns that she has with regard to the findings that she’s issued.”

Dobson: “Will you publish your legal advice so we can see what it is?”

Doherty: “I certainly won’t publish the legal advice but what I absolutely intend to publish is the commission’s report and our response to it. But, again, what I would rather do, rather than prejudice a meeting that I would really like to have with the commission, I would wait until the commissioner responds to me at some stage today or tomorrow before publishing. But I have absolutely intentions to publish the report and our response to it.”

Dobson: “Is it likely this will end up in court? Are you prepared to take it to court?”

Doherty: “Depending on where we go from here. At the moment, I don’t have a legal basis to take it because the report wasn’t issued under the legislation, the Data Protection Act…”

Dobson: “But if she takes enforcement proceedings – you’ll fight that? Will you?”

Doherty: “In my letter yesterday, I have given notice that, yes, we would intend to challenge within the courts, yeah.”

Dobson: “So you’re prepared to use public money to confront somebody who’s responsible for defending the public interest?”

Doherty: “I think the way the Oireachtas established the Data Protection Commission was exactly allowing for differences of views and differences of opinion and this certainly is not the first time that a regulator has been challenged by a Government body and I’m probably quite sure it won’t be the last.

“But what I absolutely have a responsibility to do is to make sure that I deliver public services to the people that we serve, that I serve, in the most efficient manner…”


Doherty: “…we really believe that we have a very, very strong legal basis to do exactly what we have done and it would actually be illegal for us to change…”

Dobson: “And you’ll defend that all the way? In terms of legal action, you’d go all the way in defending that?”

Doherty: “I think that’s my role and responsibility…”

Dobson: “What would that cost Minister in legal fees?”

Doherty: “I don’t know but again it would be in the Circuit Court so it probably wouldn’t be very expensive. But what would be absolutely enormously expensive, Bryan, is that if we decided to act illegally and change Government policy and services delivery without having a serious conversation around the difference of opinion of the interoperation of the law.”

Listen back in full here


Yesterday: Put It On The Card

Identity Crisis


Elizabeth Farries, Information Rights Programme Manager for the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, also spoke with Mr Dobson this morning.

During her interview, they had this exchange:

Bryan Dobson: “I’m wondering what’s your problem here? Do you have an objection in principle to this kind of card which can be applied across a whole range of Government services, it seems, on the face of it, something that might be very, might be welcomed, improve efficiency and productivity, in the provision of public services. Do you have an objection in principle or is it the way it’s being done?”

Elizabeth Farries: “ICCL and other experts have been opposed to the card from the start. We are opposed to it in principle and we’re opposed to it for good reasons. It’s illegal, the Data Protection Commissioner has said that and we’ve been saying that for years.

“It doesn’t respect privacy rights which are fundamental rights which we should all take extra care of in our technological age.

“And it targets the poor.

“And so crucially now the DPC is saying these same things. There are significant data security risks attached to the card and we have a group of privacy experts from all over the world right now with the international network of civil liberties organisations and they’re dealing with very similar problems in their countries.

“And they’ve seen devastating consequences of cards like this. In India, we have someone from the Human Rights Law Network talking about the Aadhaar card and the massive breach that happened there – they’re exposing important information of a billion people. You’ve got…”

Dobson: “I’m just wondering if the legal safeguards, if the legal foundation was put in place, if the safeguards were put in place, if the transparency, which the data commissioner says isn’t there, if that was put in place. If those safeguards were put in place and people had assurances that their data would be treated properly and be protected, should the card have a future?”

Farries: “There are no legal safeguards, as it stands, to protect from the security risks attached to the card in its current form. It’s absolutely unnecessary to collect very sensitive data, including biometric data used through facial recognition.”

Dobson: “That wasn’t a finding of the data commissioner, I think.”

Farries: “This is certainly our position.”

Dobson: “Yes.”

Farries: “It has been a finding of the data commissioner that it’s unnecessary to collect the huge amount of information without adequately …”

Dobson: “But, biometric data, she didn’t rule on that question.”

Farries: “We understand that she’s going to follow up on that question. Because it’s such an individually important question that it requires and investigation of its own.”

Dobson: “Very good.”

Listen back in full here

Bryan Dobson

This afternoon.

Laura Fitzgerald writes:

RTÉ News today confirmed that Bryan Dobson will join the team of presenters on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, the most-listened-to radio programme in Ireland.

After 21 years presenting RTÉ One’s Six One News programme, the broadcaster will move to be a permanent presenter on RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship radio programme at the end of October.

Bryan will join co-presenters Rachael English, Dr Gavin Jennings and Audrey Carville as a main anchor of the RTÉ Radio 1 programme.

In addition to presenting Morning Ireland, Bryan will continue to be a key presenter for RTÉ’s television coverage of special state events including the forthcoming Budget 2018.


Pic: RTÉ


Zainab Boladale


This September, first time television presenter Zainab Boladale from Ennis, Co. Clare is the newest addition to the news2day team.

news2day is RTÉ’s news service designed specifically for children, featuring Irish and international news of interest to a young audience.

Following a call out to media & journalism graduates across the country, and a comprehensive audition process, DCU graduate Zainab, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria and came to ireland when she was four-years-old was chosen to join the team and began broadcasting live this week on RTÉ Two and RTÉ News Now.

Pic: RTÉ


“It seemed to me that RTÉ’s fundamental failure was to allow this appetite for ‘edgy’, ground-breaking journalism to devour good journalistic practice and particularly editorial practice. It was failure above all of editorial control.”

Bryan Dobson on the Fr Kevin Reynolds affair.

‘Edgy’ journalism led to RTÉ error – Dobson (Independent.ie)


GalwayGirl writes (edgily):

So noted newsreader Bryan Dobson had a lot to say yesterday about editorial standards at RTÉ. Well, he’d certainly be a leading expert on that topic… Maybe stick to reading other people’s scripts to introduce other people’s journalism. Still though – looks good in a suit…


(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)


[Eamon Gilmore and Bryan Dobson during last night’s interview on RTE One’s Six One]

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore went on RTE’s Six One last night to attempt to address concerns about his future and the prospect of a wipeout for his party in Friday’s Local and European elections.

Bryan Dobson: “Tanaiste, since the last Local Elections, I think it’s true to say that you’ve lost 20 or more local councillors who have left the Party. You’ve lost four of the TDs who were elected at the time of the last Election, and a bye-election since then. You’ve lost an MEP, who’s running now as an Independent, and one of your outgoing MEPs says that she doesn’t think you should be leader of the Party. What’s going on in Labour?”

Eamon Gilmore: “You know, it has been a difficult three years – but there are times when you have to take decisions that are in the best interests of the country – and that is what the Labour Party has done. That is why we are now recovering – and that is why, on Friday… Friday is about electing the people that will run our city and county councils and electing the best people who will represent us in Europe.

Dobson: “Why should people… how can they have faith in Labour, when so many of your own party members and elected party representatives don’t have faith in you?”

Gilmore: “Well, some haven’t – and that’s their opinion. But, let’s look at what we’ve have to do on Friday. What we have to do on Friday, is for example, elect the best representative to the European Parliament – in the Dublin constituency, for example, that is now a straight choice between… (talk over each other)

Dobson: “… We’ll find out who the candidates with many different views are on… Just a final question in relation to a bad result in the Local Elections – how worrying would that be in your organisation, as you face into the next General Election, if you were to lose, as the poll suggests today, up to half your seats?”

Gilmore: “No, I don’t think that that will be the case at all. I think that when it comes to the economy – I think that people will go out and will want to see Labour Councillors who deliver good local services who can be relied on to make good planning decisions – who are not in anybody’s pocket, who are not not representing any vested interests, but the public interest – and the same in relation to the European Parliament elections, so we send our best people and the best Labour candidates into Parliament, to be part be of the Socialist and Democrat Group and hopefully to elect a new President of…. (talk over each other)

Dobson: “Just a final question about your own role in relation to the upcoming re-shuffle – I mean… members of your own Party – your own Chairman has been saying you need to come back and take on a domestic role and focus on recovering Labour’s electoral and political positions?”

Gilmore: “That’s not about the job I hold in Government, or about any other job that anybody else holds in Government – what this Government is about, is about creating jobs for the people who don’t have jobs,or people who have gone abroad and who would like to come back and work in this country.”

Dobson: “We won’t get that just yet, perhaps? Tanaiste, thank you very much for joining us here this evening.”

Right so.




On the Six One News last night Bryan Dobson spoke to assistant professor in economics in Trinity College Dublin, Ronan Lyons, who is also the in-house economist at Daft.ie, about the ‘recovering’ property prices in Dublin.

Bryan Dobson: “What’s your analysis? What’s going on?”

Ronan Lyons: “Well, what’s going on now. I mean, really, prices can only rise for one of three reasons. Either it’s a bubble which is all about mortgage credit really. It’s about incomes going up, which I don’t think is happening on a wide scale at the moment. The last factor is a lack of supply. So, you can call that a price spike, when prices go up because there isn’t enough supply in the Dublin market which is what I think we’re seeing at the moment. That’s why prices are rising.”

Dobson: “So, in terms of where people are raising the money for these purchases, a lot of it is cash, isn’t it? Because the banks are still very slow to lend.”

Lyons: “Yeah, it’s tough to measure because we don’t have good figures on the proportion that are cash or mortgage-backed, based on the whole set of transactions. But what we do know is that the number of mortgages being approved and the number of mortgages being issued is going up and I think there were statistics out today that said the mortgages approved in the month just gone in October was the highest on, the highest on record, apart from I think the end of last year when there was mortgage interest relief. So mortgages are coming back and I think it’s all about sentiment really at the moment really, in the Dublin market. There’s a bit of momentum creeping back. So the backlog of people who didn’t buy between 2008 and 2012, they’re coming back into the market now.”

Dobson: “All right. And in terms of…we have some visitors there behind you but don’t let that distract you for a moment. [car beep sound] In terms, in terms of the investor, the investor involvement in this market, how, how important are they? I mean are they a big factor in this?”

Ronan Lyons: “Well, typically, you see investors, in the one and two-bed segment, where the yield, which is the relationship between prices and rents, that’s about 10 to 12 per cent and if you think about a 10 to 12 per cent return on your savings account, you know, that’s a high return. and that’s what they’re seeing in the smaller property segment. In the family home segment, that figure is may be only five or six per cent.”

Dobson: “Well I tell you what, Ronan. I’m gonna stop, I’m gonna stop that there because the idiots behind you are a bit of a distraction. So we’ll eh, we’ll try get rid of those and come back to you if you can. Otherwise, thanks very much.”

Lyons: “No problem.”

Watch the Six One News in full here and go to 23.30 for the above segment.