RTÉ ‘went to town’ on water charges protests - Fine Gael TD

Rallies covered as though they were ‘St Patrick’s Day parades’, says Cork TD Jim Daly

An anti-water charges protest in Dublin city centre in August 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

An anti-water charges protest in Dublin city centre in August 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A Fine Gael TD has accused the national media of stirring up civil disobedience over water charges, with RTÉ promoting demonstrations as if they were St Patrick’s Day parades.

Cork Fine Gael TD Jim Daly told local radio station C103 that the media was “overly enthusiastic” in relation to publicising water charges protests.

“The media, particularly RTÉ, really went to town at the time as well on the water charges issues. And when I think of the time when they were on RTÉ’s website putting up all the lists of protests and the times they were happening as if they were Patrick’s Day parades.

“These were protests and gatherings for people to be disobedient but they were really being egged on by a very enthusiastic media.”

Mr Daly said the media encouraged the protesters because they were bored of reporting on a Government with a massive majority.

“There wasn’t a lot of news there at the time. I am certainly not blaming RTÉ. I am accepting fully our own faults and our own failings in that regard.”

Mr Daly said the Irish Water issue was “too rushed as the Troika were in town”.

“There was overenthusiastic embracing of it by the Minister of the time, Phil Hogan, and indeed the Government of the time.”

Mr Daly said it was “timed wrong, approached wrong and done all wrong.”