Two very timely stories hit the press today. In light of the horseburger scandal that has prompted an apology to customers from Tesco Ireland it is maddening to read that a new Tesco has been given planning permission in Cavan despite an Bord Pleanála’s own inspector finding against permission on three specific grounds.
Cavan town already has 41 vacant, street-facing shop units. Building a massive Tesco that towers 20 metres above the rest of the town and sucks the life and jobs out of town centre business will destroy what’s left. While Tesco and traitorous politicians will recite the ‘job creation’ mantra, studies show that for every Tesco type job created in a new area 1.5 jobs are lost from the local economy.
The other contemporary breaking story is RTE’s apology to the family of the late Joe Murray. Murray was the editor of agricultural programmes at the station but was disciplined by the station as a result of a report in February 1989 on the abuse of State export credit insurance on the Farm Diary programme, which he edited. The report claimed that a leading Irish meat company, Larry Goodman’s Anglo Irish Beef Processors, was misrepresenting the age and quality of meat being sold to Iraq.
While the company was not named, RTÉ still made the main news programmes the following day an abject apology, prompted by legal representations on behalf of Larry Goodman’s Anglo Irish Beef Processors. A decision that Tom Savage, in a letter of apology to the family called ‘bizarre’.
The retraction stated that the allegations were “completely false and without any basis in fact” and “no irregularity of any kind . . . was carried out by the company in question”.
Mr Murray and reporter Pádraig Mannion were brought before an internal RTÉ disciplinary tribunal and found guilty of “unprofessional conduct”. Mr Murray’s very high reputation as the pioneer of agricultural broadcasting in Ireland was seriously damaged by the apology and by this finding.
That company is the same one at the centre of the current scandal re contaminated burgers.
A highly recommended read is Elaine Byrne’s Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010: A Crooked Harp . Byrne points out that Goodman described the Beef Tribunal whistleblowers as ‘anti-private industry, anti-success, anti-effort, anti-bloody well everything’ and the while the Irish taxpayer picked up the bill for Goodman’s deeds the only person to face prosecution from the inquiry was journalist Suzanne O’Keefe for refusing to name her sources. Byrne continues ‘In Ireland, there are no consequences for rich businessmen with close links to power & big pockets for libel laws.’