Tag Archives: Lynn Boylan

Above from left: Eoin Ó Broin with Lynn Boylan MEP and Pearse Doherty

This afternoon.

Outside Government Buildings, Dublin 2

Sinn Féin TDs Eoin Ó Broin and Pearse Doherty and MEP Lynn Boylan urge citizens to raise the roof unveils a mobile billboard to advertise this Saturday’s housing rally organised by Raise The Roof, a coalition of trade unions, civil society organisations and political parties.

Raise it figuratively now mind, eh?

*snigger*

Raise The Roof

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Fingal, Dublin.

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan after handing in her nomination papers for the upcoming EU elections at the office of the Dublin County Returning Officer. Ms Boylan will faces a ballot (top) that includes Barry Andrews standing for Fianna Fáil.

Above from left: Louise O’Reilly TD, Lynn Boylan and Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald.

Rollingnews

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Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership; Media ownership report launch, from left: Barrister Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Jonathan Price, KRW Law, Gavin Booth, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, in Cliff Townhouse in Dublin; Denis O’Brien

Further to the Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland, commissioned by Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin MEP on behalf on the European United Left/Northern Green Left (GUE/NGL) group of the European Parliament

A statement has been issued this afternoon by James Morrissey, on behalf of Denis O’Brien, in response to the report.

Redacted writes:

The Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland makes for very interesting reading.

At the outset it is worth noting that it is self-described as “An Independent Study Commissioned by Lynn Boylan MEP on behalf of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group of the European Parliament.”

An “independent study” commissioned by a leading member of Sinn Fein? Hardly.

The two most important controlling entities in the Irish media landscape are the national State broadcaster, RTE, and an individual businessman, Denis O’Brien” this Report states.

Yet there is no focus on RTE in the context of:

– The largest media entity in Ireland

– The only entity involved in TV, radio and print

– Revenues subsidised by licence fees amounting to €178.9 million

But then this ‘independent study’ was never intended to be a report on the concentration of media ownership in Ireland.

Sinn Féin is very diligent and adept when it comes to pushing its agendas, overtly and covertly.

After a disappointing General Election, An Phoblact [sic] went on the attack:

“State broadcaster came in for severe criticism as it slashed Sinn Fein’s coverage following a poll… which showed the party gaining ground… and for two days the voices of Sinn Fein were banned from the airwaves in a bizarre episode that was reminiscent of Section 31 and state censorship.” (March 7, 2016)

And on the eve of the Budget, Sinn Fein TD, Eoin O’Broin declared:

“Budget Day is all about choices. For decades, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, have looked after the big guy – whether that be Denis O’Brien or Apple.”

I am absolutely convinced that the contribution that Apple has made in this country is unquantifiable in financial and social terms. What about the thousands of young women and men who did not have to emigrate and who got a chance to work, live and raise families in Cork?

I have said that Apple should not be punished for its tax arrangements in Ireland. Sinn Féin’s stance on Apple has been, I believe both anti-enterprise and anti-Irish.

“Sinn Fein has been waiting with some relish for the EU verdict,” wrote Pat Leahy in The Irish Times (August 30, 2016) “and leaped into action:  ’Give us back our money’ demanded MEP Matt Carthy. For good measure, Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty also called for a public inquiry into Apple’s tax arrangements.”

This report states that I am chairperson of Communicorp, as has various individuals including Dr. Colum Kenny, Dr. Roderick Flynn and Caoilfhionn Gallagher, legal firms Jonathan Price (Belfast) and KRW Law (London) and media organisations including The Irish Times and TV3.

It maybe [sic] a rather inconvenient truth, but I am not.

I suppose why let the facts interfere with the agenda and the messaging…

Is the media objective when it is talking and writing about itself? The media industry in Ireland is in decline. This decline has been ongoing for many years and it threatens and [sic] industry that has served this country exceptionally well, providing high levels of employment and spawned a number of writers who have deservedly achieved international acclaim.

Independent News & Media (INM) was days from forced closure back 2011.

Over €2 billion in shareholder value had been lost and the shares had collapsed from €27.30 to 41 cents as a previous board had racked up unsustainable levels of debt. I became am [sic] a substantial minority shareholder in INM (I am not on the board).

I am the owner of Communicorp which like RTÉ, TV3, The Irish Examiner and The Sunday Business Post operates in a very challenging environment. I understand The Irish Times is currently considering various funding options.

I believe that some media companies will not survive this decade without radical structuring including substantial funding.

I was surprised, for example, that RTÉ (and others) did not seek any comment from me on the ‘Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland’ in the interests of balance and objectivity.

But maybe the powers that be in Montrose felt that they had been given a ‘free pass’ in the report that they chose just to quote from it?

I do not believe the Irish media is objective in relation to matters relating to itself. The prime reason is survival. Every media executive and journalist knows that the future of traditional media is bleak. It makes one entity undermining another easier to justify.

Sinn Féin/IRA certainly got the report they paid for. The cost of this report won’t have have bothered them too much.

They collected €12 million over 20 years in the US (Irish Times, March 7, 2015). The IRA is reported to have €400 million in global assets (Irish Times, August 29, 2015).

Brian Feeney, author, has suggested that a way should be found to stop “Sinn Féin people saying the IRA has gone away when self-evidently it hasn’t.”

The report references the words ‘chilling effect’ and the law in the same sentence. I bow to Sinn Fein’s superior knowledge on these topics.

Maybe instead of commissioning reports Sinn Féin would commit just some of its vast resources and support an ailing industry – become a fully-fledged broadcaster and publisher and create some jobs for a change?

Statement via Joe Leogue

Thud.

Meanwhile…

 

Previously: High Concentration

Morrissey And Mar’

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The cover of the Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland and Denis O’Brien

This afternoon.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has published a Report on the Concentration of Media Ownership in Ireland, which she commissioned on behalf of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group of the European Parliament.

It was written by lawyers in Belfast and London.

Ms Boylan’s report follows a report in March – about media plurality and ownership in Ireland by the Centre for Pluralism and Media Freedom, led by Dr Roderick Flynn of Dublin City University.

From the report:

Ireland has one of the most concentrated media markets of any democracy. Accumulation of what has been described as “communicative power” within the news markets is at endemic levels, and this, combined with the dominance of one private individual media owner in the State, creates what the Media Reform Coalition has described as “conditions in which wealthy individuals and organisations can amass huge political and economic power and distort the media landscape to suit their interests and personal views”.

The two most important controlling entities in the Irish media landscape are the national State broadcaster, RTÉ, and an individual businessman, Denis O’Brien…

…First, Mr. O’Brien has initiated a large number of sets of proceedings since 2010, including 12 cases against media organisations in relation to their coverage of his business affairs. Analysis stretching back almost two decades, to 1998, suggests that Mr. O’Brien has regularly made threats of legal action, and instituted legal proceedings, against journalists and media organisations.

Any wealthy individual bringing such a large number of claims seeking to restrict press coverage of their business dealings would raise concerns regarding freedom of expression and the potential for such litigious profligacy to have a ‘chilling effect’ on newsgathering and reporting in the public interest. However, when the wealthy individual in question is also the “largest owner of private media in the State,”  those concerns and risks are substantially increased.

The Report’s authors are aware of suggestions that there are legal bars to any such action being taken, but we reject any suggestion that it is not legally permissible to address the status quo and that tackling the current concentration of media ownership is impossible given the importance of property rights in the Irish Constitution and/ or the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

On the contrary, our conclusion is that there is, in principle, no such legal bar. A retrospective mechanism could indeed be permissible under the Irish Constitution, EU law, and the ECHR.

…The devil is very much in the detail, and these are difficult issues. What is now needed is a careful review of the detail, and, accordingly, the Report recommends that the Government establish a cross-disciplinary Commission of Inquiry.

Read the report in full here

Rollingnews

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From top: Lynn Boylan MEP; Mary Wilson

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan went on RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime with Mary Wilson yesterday evening to discuss water charges and the European Commission.

Ms Boylan had asked the Commission if flexibility previously afforded to Ireland on water charges still applies.

The Commission replied: “If the established practice is to have a system in place implementing the recovery of the costs of water services, in accordance with the polluter pays principle, the Commission considers that the flexibility afforded to Member States […] would not apply“.

RTÉ reported yesterday that that this meant Ireland could not be exempt from water charges.

Grab a tay.

Mary Wilson: “Now turning to the European Commission, it’s declared that Ireland does not enjoy an exemption from the obligation under European law for a system of water charges. Now this confirmation is highly likely to severely limit the new minority government’s discretion to scrap water charges if in fact that is the road that they finally go down. The confirmation comes in the form of a written response to the Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, following a parliamentary question and Lynn Boylan joins us now, good evening.”

Lynn Boylan: “Good evening. Can I just say that that’s not what the response says at all.”

Wilson: “Does it not? Well…”

Boylan: “That’s a very, that’s a very…”

Wilson: “The commission’s written response makes it clear that Ireland’s de facto exemption from water charges no longer applies because the Government…”

Boylan:That’s not what it says…”

Wilson: “…introduced water charges and metering…”

Boylan: “That’s absolutely not what it says…”

Wilson: “So what do you say it says, Lynn Boylan?”

Boylan: “It says it provides that members states shall not be in breach to the directive if they decide in accordance with established practices not to apply the provisions of cost recovery. Now, that’s the derogation, that’s what the response says. It says, If the established practice is to have a system in place implementing the recovery of the costs of water services, the Commission then considers that the flexibility would not apply. Now nobody in their right mind is going to say that the established practice in Ireland is Irish Water which itself is not even in compliance with the water framework directive because it’s not even having full cost recovery – it’s literally just covering the costs of its bills, of issuing bills. So it’s absolutely nonsensical to interpret that from the response that the Commission gave out this morning.

Wilson: “I’m just, I’m just reading the written response. Brussels regards the introduction of water charges as Ireland’s established practice in ensuring that the principles of polluter pays and cost recovery are adhered to.”

Boylan: “It says, if the established practice, if the established practice, Irish Water is not…”

Wilson: “Is to have a system in place..”

Boylan: “Yes, is not the established practice. Irish Water is not the established practice. The established practice in Ireland is to pay for water through general taxation, based on the ability to pay. Now it’s also interesting that if Ireland wants to use the derogation 9.4, based on the standard practice, which is general taxation, it can do that in its river basin management plan which was due to be submitted on December 2015, which they missed that deadline and they have confirmed to Deputy O’Broin that they won’t be in a position to submit it until December 2017.”

Wilson: “Were you a bit taken aback by this response?”

Boylan: “No I wasn’t taken back at all and, in fact, this was exactly what we expected. This was a priority question, a very simple, black and white answer and the commission delayed and delayed for seven weeks. We got confirmation, off the record, that this was being blocked at the cabinet, the commission cabinet, and what we did then yesterday was put out a press statement, to put pressure on the commission and they came out with a vague..”

Wilson: “And you got the response..”

Boylan: “A vague response which is all based on established practices and established practices is not Irish Water.”

Wilson: “Did we introduce the concept of water charges and metering back in 2010?”

Boylan: “In 2010, Irish Water was not set up until 2014.”

Wilson: “I know that but yes, what I said was the concept of water charges?”

Boylan: “No the issue is…”

Wilson: “And metering and the European Commission, it is believed that they believe that the introduction by the former coalition of water charges or the concept of water charges meant that Ireland’s established practice had changed and it’s all about that established practice.”

Boylan: “But the established practice. How is the practice established between 2010 and 2014?”

Wilson: “Well I got water bills.”

Boylan: “It wasn’t even in existence.”

Wilson: “I got water bills…”

Boylan: “Not in 2010 you didn’t.”

Wilson: “No but in 2015..”

Boylan: “Yes, so that’s not the established practice when you have a compliance rate which you have from Irish Water, you have an election result which was clearly a mandate from the Irish people. You’ve had mobilisations on the street. I think any lawyer would feel very happy going into court to defend that Irish Water is not an established practice and can I also say that there’s a precedent here. In the European Court of Justice found in favour of the member state in applying the derogation, a court ruling in 2014, against the German government. And that was around cost recovery. And they actually found in favour of the Germans over the Commission in that the flexibility is there for member states.”

Wilson: “I read, I read this report today and I took one meaning out of it, you’re taking another meaning out of it. And…”

Boylan:You read a report or you read the response from the Commission because the response is not, the response is not up on the website…”

Wilson:
“No, no, no, I read the reports of what the Commission has said. And I took from it..”

Boylan: “
No, sorry, sorry…”

Wilson: “Yeah.”

Boylan:
“The report, the Commission’s response is not public.”

Wilson:
“No, I’m not talking about the Commission’s response. I said I’ve read the media reports of what has been said and I’ve taken this meaning out of it. I’m not saying I’m right but I’m asking you if it will be open to interpretation?”

Boylan:
“But what I’m saying is this response is not a public, it’s not up on any website. We received it this morning, Tony Connolly, your colleague went direct to the Commission and they’ve given him, and I presume Irish Water wrote his press statement, because the response in the report from RTÉ…I’m sorry, to jump to the conclusion…”

Wilson:
“I doubt very much Irish Water wrote Tony Connolly’s press statement, he is a fine reporter who is well able to write his own press material.”

Boylan:
“To jump to the conclusion that was in the RTÉ report, on the basis of the 100-word vague response that the Commission issued this morning, I find unbelievable…”

Wilson: “I’m not jumping to conclusions, I’m asking is this the position, you’re saying it’s another position and my question to you is, is it now open to interpretation?”

Boylan:
“What I’m saying is that RTÉ’s interpretation of a very vague response today, I find bizarre. It doesn’t take into account, it doesn’t take into account that we haven’t even submitted our plan to evoke the derogation. We haven’t submitted it and won’t be until 2017…”

Wilson: “So you’re taking…”

Boylan:
“It doesn’t…”

Wilson: “No, just a moment Lynn Boylan…”

Boylan:
“Yeah?”

Wilson:
“You’re taking one interpretation of this and I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, I’ve put forward another interpretation, I’m asking you will it now be for further people within the European Union, the European Commission or elsewhere to decide what is the correct interpretation of this and, ultimately, could Ireland be facing fines?”

Boylan:
“Well what I’m taking is the only precedent that’s set down in law is the court ruling of 2014, against the German state, and in paragraph 57, it says, in that regard Article 9 (4)  provides that the member states may, subject to certain conditions, opt not to proceed with the recovery of costs for a given water use activity where this does not compromise the purposes or the achievements or the objectives of that directive. That gave the flexibility to the member states and that’s a European Court of Justice ruling.

Wilson:
“Can I ask you in simple English: Are you saying, nothing to see here, move on, water charges are all over?”

Boylan:
“I’m saying that it was a wild leap to go from the very vague response we were given by the Commission to the report that came out from RTÊ and to not…”

Wilson:
“Are you…”

Boylan:
“But to not even reference that there’s been a European Court of Justice ruling?”

Wilson:
“Are you…”

Boylan: “To not reference that Scotland have invoked the ability to pay clause and are in complete compliance with the European water framework…”

Wilson:
“Are you saying it’s wrong? Are you saying it’s wrong?”

Boylan:
“I’m saying that it’s not balanced.”

Wilson: “Are you saying it’s wrong. You have one interpretation, I’ve put another interpretation to you, I have said it will be still open for others to decide.”

Boylan: “It will be still open, of course, but the conclusions that this was based on, on something that’s not even in the public domain..”

Wilson:
“And we could be facing fines..”

Boylan: “To jump to that interpretation..”

Wilson:
“I’m not jumping anywhere..”

Boylan:
“Well the RTE report, the RTE report, well, as I said, Scotland uses the concept of the ability to pay and they have submitted two river basin management plans and both of them have been adopted by the European Commission and are not in breach of the Water Framework Directive.”

Wilson:
“Sinn Féin MEP, Lynn Boylan. Thank you for joining us.”

Listen back in full here

Uisce

RTÉ reports:

The European Commission has declared that Ireland does not enjoy an exemption from the obligation under EU law for a system of water charges.

The confirmation is highly likely to severely limit the new minority Government’s discretion to scrap water charges.

Furthermore, according to informed sources, Ireland could face a procedure in the coming months that could lead to daily fines due to the Government’s breach of EU law.

The European Commission has said that the earlier “flexibility” on water charges afforded to Ireland no longer applies.

The confirmation comes in the form of a written response to Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan following a parliamentary question.

Meanwhile…

More as we get it.

Ireland not exempt from water charges – European Commission (RTE)

Related: Irish Water ‘plucked €100m abolition figure from the air’ (Irish Times)

Earlier: A Beaten Docket

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(Top) Brian Hayes and  Eamon Ryan  (above) calling for a recount.

4am: A night of high drama in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin as the Dublin European election went to a 7th count to decide the final 2 seats.

Lynn Boylan of Sinn Féin was the first candidate to be elected on count 3 after recording an initial 83,264 first preferences votes.

By count 7, it came down to Eamon Ryan (Green), Nessa Childers (Ind) and Brian Hayes (Fine Gael) for the remaining two seats.

It ended with victory to Childers (73,598) and Hayes (73,405) with Ryan closely behind on 72,256 votes who immediately asked for a recount.

A decision on whether a recount will be held will be made at 2pm this afternoon. If Brian Hayes is elected, a by-election in Dublin South West will be needed to decide his vacant Dáil seat.

Recount Requested in Dublin Constituency (RTE)

Meanwhile, earlier…

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From top: Lynn Boylan (Sinn Fein) following the third count; and the eliminated: Emer Costello (Labour) with her husband Joe Costello TD and Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fail).

(Laura Hutton, Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)