A field day for YouTube over Kenny's clash with farmer

Wed, May 23, 2012, 01:00

Farmers for No spokesman James Reynolds became a YouTube sensation after being told to “get a life” by Pat Kenny on the Frontline debate on Monday night.

Reynolds, who campaigned for Libertas’s Declan Ganley in 2009, claimed that passing the fiscal treaty would end the Common Agriculture Policy (Cap) for Ireland, prompting the normally unflappable presenter to lose his cool.

“They’ll take it from the farmers! They’re going to rob the farmers! James, I promise you we will do a programme on the Cap in January,” Kenny shouted.

As Reynolds persisted, Kenny told him to “get a life”.

Reynolds campaigned for Ganley, who was on the Frontline panel, when the Libertas founder ran in the 2009 European elections. He told The Irish Times he now had no connection with Ganley, although he stressed they “haven’t fallen out or anything”.

Reynolds is pictured on the Frontline wearing the same tie and jacket as he wore at the Castlebar count centre in June 2009, when Ganley conceded defeat.

“That’s my lucky tie and jacket. Everytime I wear that tie and jacket things go well for me. It’s a different shirt though!” he explained.

He shrugged off Kenny’s comment. “I personally wasn’t offended, but I’d say an awful lot of the farming community, regardless of how they will vote in the referendum, could be.” – Mary Minihan

Casey and Ganley put the accent on patriotism

Things got personal between businessman Declan Ganley and publisher and television personality Norah Casey on Monday night’s frequently rambunctious RTÉ Frontline debate.

Casey, a vocal supporter of the Yes campaign, accused Ganley of being a part-time politician who only surfaces for referendums. “I live here all year around, not just when referendums come,” she said.

Ganley interpreted the jibe as “xenophobia” and implied Casey was questioning his Irishness given that he was brought up in London until he was 13.

He responded indignantly. “I only speak with this accent because my parents had to emigrate like youngsters are having to emigrate now . . . I love my country and I’ve gone out to bat for my country.”

Casey was equally indignant that he misinterpreted what she had said and remonstrated with him during the break in the programme.

She was adamant that she was not questioning his nationality, given that her late husband, Richard, was British, her son was born in London and she lived in Britain for 18 years.

“I wouldn’t even hear somebodys British accents because of my movements between London and Dublin,” she said.

For his part, Ganley has acknowledged that he misinterpreted her original remarks.

“I accept it and it is forgotten about,” he said.

However, it remains a sore point for him that people question his patriotism although he has lived in Ireland for nearly 30 years.

“A guy on the Yes side said I should go back to where I came from on Twitter the other day. We have had previous incidents like that,” he said. – Ronan McGreevy