Presidential hopefuls at Kerry County Council including (right to left) Gavin Duffy, Jimmy Smyth, Gemma O’Doherty and William Delaney
On RTÉ Radio One’s News at One.
Paschal Sheehy reported from Kerry where several presidential hopefuls addressed county councillors – including journalist Gemma O’Doherty – in a bid to secure a nomination for the presidency.
Before playing a clip of Ms O’Doherty speaking to members of the media, Mr Sheehy told show host Claire Byrne:
“Gemma O’Doherty is running on an anti-corruption platform. Now, she refused to discuss with us, afterwards, her reason for raising, sorry..she refused to discuss with us her allegation that Veronica Guerin had been murdered by the State. But she did go into the reasons why she is running for a nomination for he presidency with us.”
Ms O’Doherty then said:
“Well, I believe that the Irish people are greatly concerned about the toxic culture of corruption and cronyism that has infested our state. And I think there is huge concern about the fact that their taxes are being squandered by this government on a daily basis. I feel an awful lot of citizens have been denied the right to truth and justice. They have great concerns about the functioning of our criminal justice system.
“They feel they have been denied the right to a decent healthcare system, to affordable housing. I’m greatly concerned about the crisis of homelessness in our state and really I think that people feel that there’s a disconnect between the political elite, the media and citizens on the ground.
“And these are the areas that I want to raise and I believe that the presidency can be a sanctuary for people who feel disenfranchised and feel alienated from the governing elite in this country.”
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy spoke to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke about the homeless and housing crisis.
During the interview, Mr Murphy told Ms O’Callaghan he’s expecting the figure for the number of people using emergency accommodation in July – expected to be released this week – to increase from the figure of 9,872, including 3,824 children, recorded in June.
From the interview…
“What we have at the moment is a very acute supply problem which is being corrected and we can go into that in some detail in relation to the CSO figures.
“…what we saw for the last quarter, was about 4,500 new homes were completed. What we actually need to achieve is somewhere between 6,000 and 8,500 new homes being completed every quarter and then that continuing for a steady period of time.
“We have to move away from these violent swings in our housing output where we go from 90,000 – which is twice too many – people’s properties being overvalued and people then falling into massive negative equity and then, in a few short years, people living in cramped accommodation, trying to raise a family…
“…At the moment, we have about 2,400 [social housing homes] were built last year, another 4,400 will be built this year. At the end of the second quarter of this year, 4,000 were being constructed on site with another 2,000 to go on site.
“We’re going to hit our target for increasing the stock of social housing by 50,000 by 2021.
“Importantly though, this year, Miriam, about one in four or one in five new houses that are built will be social housing homes and that commitment maintains for the next ten years.”
“…If you look at 2020 and 2021, under our plans, we will be putting more people in social housing homes than into the private rental sector because we have this commitment to build new social housing homes.”
“…Again, looking at the CSO figures, which are independent from my own department, last year about 20,000 places to live were made available, 14,500 new homes were built, another 2,500 homes came out of vacancy – stock that wasn’t being used.
“Another 1,000 homes which had been started before the crash but were never finished were completed and about 2,000 new student bed spaces. So, that’s a dramatic increase.”
“…If you look at something like rough sleeping. This time last year it was far worse than it is now. We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in people who are sleeping rough.
“…I don’t have them [homeless figures for July] yet. We’re still compiling them. My understanding is that they will be slightly up because we are, again, seeing an increase in presentations.
“…My understanding is that the figures have gone up in one particular region which would give me reason to believe that actually they’ll be up overall.
“Whether or not they hit 10,000 this month, I can’t be certain now.
“…Hitting 10,000 doesn’t tell us anything that hitting 9,000 didn’t tell us which is that we have a very serious crisis.”
Towards the end of the interview, Ms O’Callaghan asked Mr Murphy about a report by Daniel McConnell, in the Irish Examiner, last week which claimed some Fine Gael ministers fear their “posh boy” image and failure to solve the housing crisis will “kill” their election hopes.
Mr Murphy said:
“Miriam… it doesn’t matter where I’m from or where I grew up or how I dress or how I look or how I speak, none of these things matter and people who, serious people really who shouldn’t entertain those types of ideas but, unfortunately, some of our politicians and some of our commentators are.
“What matters is: are our policies working?”
“…Fine Gael is the party of the Just Society. Declan Costello – that people growing up would have opportunities, the same opportunities, regardless of who there parents were or what they did…”
“…If people think the problem or our housing crisis is the fact that I am a posh boy from Dublin 4, then they are missing the mark completely…”
RTE’s reverential coverage of the Pope’s visit was not journalism. It was propaganda for an institution that has been criminally complicit in the rape and buggery of children around the world and is the prime institutional carrier of mysogyny and homophobia.
Can only conclude after a few days of comparing news coverage with public sentiment re Pope, that editors have fixed views on how certain stories should be covered, which cannot be dislodged either by passage of time or social change
Mannix Flynn addressed Bishop of Derry Dónal McKeown and called on the guards to ring Pope Francis, during his visit to Ireland, and ask him to call into a Garda station and answer some “very, very serious” questions.
From top: group photo; Claire Byrne, Jennifer Zamperelli, Ryan Tubridy; (l-r) Zainab Boladale, Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry; Brendan Courteny and his mother Nuala; (l-r) Kathryn Thomas, Jenny Dixon, Anna Geary; group photo; group photo; (l-r) Ryan Tubridy, Kathryn Thomas, Nicky Byrne, Ray D’Arcy, Tommy Tiernan, Joanne Cantwell, and Brendan O Connor.
Montrose, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
RTÉ announced its Autumn and New Year schedule in comedy, drama, documentary and lifestyle programming.
Taken Down – ‘A detective investigates the violent death of a young Nigerian immigrant found abandoned close to a Direct Provision Centre. From the team behind Love/Hate including writer Stuart Carolan plus best-selling novelist Jo Spain and starring Aissa Maiga, Lynn Rafferty, Orla Fitzgerald and Brian Gleeson.’
Resistance – ‘Continuing the story of Ireland’s violent birth. The War of Independence rages on and everyone is fighting for their lives, and for the future. Starring Brian Gleeson, Simone Kirby and Natasha O’Keeffe.’
Death and Nightingales – ‘The story of one young woman’s struggle to control her own destiny in Northern Ireland in the 1880s. A BBC production in association with RTÉ and starring Ann Skelly, Matthew Rhys and Jamie Dornan.’
Mother’s Day – ‘The story of two mothers on either side of the Irish Sea for whom the Warrington Bombing had a profound, life-changing impact. Starring Vicky McClure, Anna Maxwell Martin, Daniel Mays and David Wilmot. A BBC production in association with RTÉ.’
Doing Money – ‘The true story of Ana, snatched from the streets of London and put into sex slavery in Ireland. Stars Karen Hassan (The Fall) and Alex Secareanu (God’s Own Country). A BBC production in association with RTÉ.’
Finding Joy – ‘Written by and starring Amy Huberman as Joy, a woman who finds herself thrust into the limelight as she tries to get over a break-up. Also starring Aisling Bea, Laura Whitmore and Jennifer Rainsford.’
Women on the Verge – ‘Darkly comic tale about three friends whose lives are going in the wrong direction. Written by Sharon Horgan and Lorna Martin and starring Horgan, Kerry Condon, Eileen Walsh and Nina Sosanya. Co-produced by UKTV and RTÉ.’
Podge and Rodge – ‘Ballydung Manor is flinging open its doors again for celebrity roasting and scorching music acts. New co-host Doireann Garrihy joins the lads this year and may not know quite what she’s letting herself in for…’
Who Do You Think You Are? – Bertie Ahern, Laura Whitmore, Damien Dempsey, Adrian Dunbar, Pat Shortt and Samantha Power explore their roots in a new six-part series.
Brendan O’Carroll’s Britain – ‘The Mrs Brown’s Boys star explores the historic, sometimes turbulent bonds, between Ireland and Britain, the influence of the Irish on Britain and how Brexit is affecting their identity.’
Citizen Lane – ‘Feature length docudrama written by Mark O’Halloran and starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Sir Hugh Lane, one of Ireland’s greatest philanthropists.’
Blue Diamond– One Love – ‘Following a group of drama students with intellectual disabilities as they form their own touring stage company.’
Cosáin Cheol – ‘Documentary exploring the modernisation of traditional music on the Irish and Scottish scenes over the past 60 years.’
Street Art – ‘Examining the explosion of urban art throughout Ireland, meeting some of the most engaging, vibrant and visible artists and cultural commentators in the country right now.’
Great Lighthouses of Ireland -‘Captains, weather forecasters, scientists and historians and most crucially the keepers, attendants and their families tell the tales of these bastions of the Irish coastline.’
Shooting the Darkness – ‘A film about the men who unwittingly became war photographers when the streets of their own town in Northern Ireland became battlefields in The Troubles.’
Féile – An Turas go Tipp! – ‘Irish language documentary celebrating the early 90s music festival that holds a special place in the hearts of a generation of Irish people.’
Orla Tinsley –’Documentary following Irish campaigner and journalist Orla Tinsley as she awaits a life saving double lung transplant in the US.’
Philly McMahon – The Hardest Hit – ‘Drawing from personal experience the Dublin footballer explores the underbelly of illicit drug use in Ireland and makes the case for decriminalisation in Ireland.’
Whistleblower – ‘Following publication of the report of the Disclosures Tribunal, Katie Hannon will present an in-depth documentary on the events leading up to the establishment of this unprecedented public inquiry and the inside story of the Tribunal itself.’
Vogue – ‘Vogue Williams is back with three new shows exploring the life of Instagrammers, trial by social media and whether monogamy has a future.’
Dearbhail McDonald: Fertility Shock – ‘Exploring how Irish people are leaving it later to have babies and how fewer children combined with an ageing population is a demographic time-bomb.’
Stephen Byrne – Leaving Again ‘Broadcaster Stephen Byrne destroyed his Leaving Cert results before finding out how he did. Now he’s doing the unthinkable and sitting the exam all over again.’
Brendan Grace – Funny Man – ‘Revealing portrait celebrating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most popular and enduring comedians.’
Growing Old Live – ‘Ireland’s top researchers and scientists reveal the mysteries of the human life span from 0 to 100, live in front of a studio audience over three nights.’
War of Independence
The Irish Revolution – ‘A three-part landmark documentary bringing a fresh perspective on a period that changed Ireland forever. Narrated by Cillian Murphy.’
Life Before Independence – ‘Presented by Catriona Crowe, documents what everyday life was like for the ordinary citizens living during that extraordinary period in our history.’
Keepers of the Flame – ‘Emmy winner Nuala O’Connor tells the story of generations dealing with the consequences of war and civil war.’
From top: Denis O’Brien and Leslie Buckley; Dee Forbes; Former group editor at INM Stephen Rae with Jean-Claude Juncker , President of the European Commission earlier this year
At the weekend.
Mark Tighe, of The Sunday Times, reported extensively on documents opened in the High Court pertaining to the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement’s application to have High Court inspectors appointed to investigate Independent News and Media’s affairs.
The documents largely focus on the claims made by INM’s former chief executive Robert Pitt, who joined INM from Tesco in October 2014.
Mr Tighe reported that one of Mr Pitt’s claims is that, in 2016, Leslie Buckley – the then chairman of INM and a nominee of INM’s largest shareholder Denis O’Brien – relayed concerns to Mr Pitt that if INM made the then Group Editor of INM Stephen Rae redundant, as a means to cut costs, “he [Rae] would ‘retaliate’ by revealing editorial interference”.
Specifically, Mr Tighe reported that Mr Pitt claims Mr Buckley conveyed to him that he feared Mr Rae would “make public interactions that they had where Leslie called on Stephen to have content removed from the papers”.
Mr Buckley resigned from INM on March 1 of this year, while Mr Rae announced he was stepping down from his role on May 23 of this year.
Their resignations followed reports of an alleged data breach at INM.
Mr Tighe first reported on Christmas Eve last that the National Union of Journalists had expressed concerns over Mr Buckley arranging for Cardiff-based Trusted Data Solutions to be given access to INM’s servers in 2014.
About two weeks later, it was announced that Mr Rae was appointed to the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Fake News.
In April, Gavin Daly, also of The Sunday Times, reported that an Isle of Man company controlled by Denis O’Brien (Blaydon Limited) paid the bill for TDS to gain access to INM’s computer network.
Mr Tighe also reported that Mr Pitt claims, prior to Mr Buckley allegedly relaying his fears about a retaliation on the part of Mr Rae if he was made redundant, there were discussions with the director general of RTÉ Dee Forbes about the “possibility of getting Stephen Rae a job” at RTÉ.
Mr Pitt has reportedly claimed that, before Mr Pitt started at INM, Mr Buckley was “very clear” that “Stephen had helped him control the editorial tone and content of publications owned by INM”.
In addition, Ryan Preston, INM’s chief financial officer, claims Mr Buckley talked about ringing Mr Rae on Saturdays to “get articles removed from the paper”.
Mr Tighe reported:
“Preston recalled Buckley talking about ringing Rae on Saturdays to “get articles removed from the paper”. Buckley described Rae as “loyal” and suggested he be given a 30% pay cut instead of losing his position.
“At the same meeting Pitt floated the idea of INM selling its newspapers but Buckley is said to have responded that “Denis is not a seller” and that O’Brien “was fearful” about how Independent newspapers would treat him under different ownership. Pitt described this as a “blocking strategy” to “protect one shareholder”.
“Preston recalled Buckley saying that O’Brien would “not sell while his family still lived in Ireland”. He said Buckley talked about O’Brien “having a terrible time with the press in 2012” when the Sunday Independent ran more than 20 articles about him in one edition.”
Mr Buckley didn’t respond to Mr Tighe’s request for a comment but Mr Tighe reported that, during an internal INM review of Mr Pitt and Mr Preston’s claims, Mr Buckley said:
“I have never instructed the editor of any newspaper to pull a story.”
Mr Tighe also reported:
“It can also be revealed that on May 24 at 7.13pm, the ODCE sent an urgent letter to INM saying it had received information that the company was deleting records of communication between Rae and O’Brien. The ODCE said its information, which it had not verified, was that the deletion was being done on the “pretext of compliance with GDPR”.
“The ODCE gave INM a deadline of 11pm to confirm that records of Rae, whose departure from INM had been announced the previous day, had not been destroyed.
“INM said it had disabled Rae email account, which had been reset to retain its data for “1,000 years”. On May 30, Rae’s solicitors wrote to INM to confirm he had not deleted any records, “if there are any”, in relation to the ODCE letter.”
In June, at the Disclosures Tribunal, Mr Rae told the tribunal the following about journalist Gemma O’Doherty calling to the home of then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to check his address and verify penalty points attached to his personal Renault car had been quashed…
“the Irish Independent is a trusted media source, that somebody going unannounced to somebody’s house at 10pm wasn’t the proper way to do things and it wasn’t the professional way to do things…”
It was Ms O’Doherty’s evidence that she did not call to the house at 10pm and, instead, called earlier in the evening.
He had worked with the national broadcaster for 40 years.
In his column in today’s Irish Daily Star (not online), Mr Dunphy said:
“For most of the four decades, I had the time of my life, but things haven’t been right for a while.
“I saw the way John Giles was treated, pushed out the door after the European Championships in 2016 even though he was – and still is – one of the best pundits around.
“RTE is a different place now. It’s a place that lives in fear of keyboard warriors on Facebook and Twitter.
“I’ll never forget the words of a senior executive in RTE to us on the eve of [Euro 2016]. ‘Go easy on Martin [O’Neill, Ireland’s football manager]’ was his message. That was the brave new world of RTE sport, even though there was nothing brave about it.”
(1/2) Two years ago, I decided not to renew my contract with RTÉ Sport. At the time, they prevailed upon me to stay and, in fact, offered me a rise, a small one, to do so. However, before the World Cup I told them this time, I would be leaving.
A new documentary My Broke Brain – about people living with Epilepsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
Gareth Naughton, of RTÉ, writes:
In a new documentary My Broken Brain, Billy Reilly (47) and his wife Sharon tell viewers about the moment that he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a degenerative disease for which there is no cure.
Billy says: “I can remember Sharon saying ‘okay, what can we do to sort this?’ and I remember myself saying ‘no, this is a death sentence’. I knew. The word Motor Neurone didn’t shock me. This might sound weird – it wasn’t that it was a relief that he said Motor Neurone but it was more a relief that ‘I am not going mad, I am not imagining this, there is something happening in my body’.”