Tag Archives: ‘Magda’

Throughout, Kowalik [Magda’s real name] has remained well disposed to Irish people. “It kind of proved that I’m right about [the] Irish, because [of] the amount of positive, amazing comments. And they were not just my friends. Of course, there were angry comments, but they were at the system and at the ‘Magda’ character from the changed article. But when it started to come up that this was not what the article was about . . . it just proved me right.

…What about going back to Poland? “No. You’re stuck with me for good.”


‘Magda: ‘I Don’t Want To Stay On The Dole. I Want To Work.’ (Pat O’Mahony, Irish Times)

(Brenda Fitzsimons/Irish Times)


Norma Costello writes:

I received a lot of comments regarding my article in the Irish Independent on February 1 which painted me as a racist, xenophobe and a careless journalist devoid of morals.

The quotes I used were inaccurate. I apologise to anyone I have hurt or upset or anyone suffering from the fallout of a story never intended to inspire racism. I have spent years traveling abroad and living in different countries and have experienced racism myself.

If you are sceptical, read my entire blog and previous published work.

I discovered this story on the site of Poland’s leading national, Gazeta Wyborcza, and I felt it was an insult to people who are unemployed or on low incomes in both Poland and Ireland; people who struggle to get by every day. The three stories painted a picture of an easy life of unemployment in Ireland. A life that was a lot less stressful than that of a working person.

I was also annoyed that it was circulated in Poland at a time when many people in that country are working long hours to feed their families, and that it could be interpreted as encouraging welfare tourism.

More here: My Response To The Independent Article (Norma Costello)

Earlier: Kate And ‘Magda’

Philip O’Connor writes:

It says a lot about Ireland that the last written testament of a dead girl can be changed to protect the powerful, but the unwarranted vilification of an unemployed Polish immigrant doesn’t merit an apology, much less a retraction.
What it does tell us is, unfortunately, something we already know.

Ireland doesn’t do accountability.

Not from the politicians, one of whom saw fit to spoof his head off about “Magda” without knowing anything other than what he was told on the phone- by a non-Polish speaking journalist.

Nor can we get it from the fourth estate. Like the Irish Times before them, the Irish Independent has neglected to offer any apology or explanation, other than the following:


YESTERDAY’S story about a Polish woman living on welfare payments in Ireland sparked much discussion and controversy. Some parts of the original interview, on which the story was based, were inaccurately translated.


Let’s be honest here- they weren’t “inaccurately translated”.

They were wrong.

The article was wrong.

Publishing it was wrong.

Not deleting it immediately was wrong.

And not apologising to the readers and the Polish people is wrong.

What is most disturbing is the total silence from the two journalists who wrote the original cack-handed rubbish- where are they? Where is their explanation? Where is their apology?

Part of the job of newspapers is to hold others accountable.

And the major part of the problem with Irish newspapers is that they fail to hold either themselves or each other accountable, especially in cases like this or Kate Fitzgerald.

So there we have it- another scandal in Irish public life. There will be no resignations, no trials, no arrests and definitely no apologies.

It’s not what we do.

Those in power in Ireland are not accountable to anyone.

There is no-one policing those in power, and they cannot police themselves.

Is it any wonder we’re in hock to the world?

When “Inaccurate” Is Just A Fancy Word For “Wrong” (Our Man In Stockholm)