The audience was monopolised by Sinn Fein, Halligan and Workers party supporters. This set the tone for a programme that largely ignored the positives and continuously emphasised the negative. The two Government TDs Paudie Coffey and Ciara Conway were barracked and heckled. They got little time to respond to criticisms of government policy. We had a Sean Martin attacking the government on Post Office closures. Between, 2005-2010, Fianna Fail closed 288 post offices. Only 23 Post Offices have closed under the FG/Labour government. Where was Sean Martin when FF was closing 288 post offices? Oh Sean is not political at all. Who the hell does he think he is codding?
One would think looking at the programme that there was nothing positive about Waterford city and county. I don't recognise the county and city represented in that programme. It has damaged Waterford's image. The heckling was a disgrace. Waterford has a lot going for it in spite of the knockers. The economy is recovering. There have been many jobs announcements in the last year: West Pharma, Eistech, Sun LIfe et al. Not one of the large number of contributors in the audience had a workable solution. John Halligan offered no solutions only higher taxation and a Financial Transactions Tax which would wipe out the Dublin Financial Services Centre and cost 15,000 jobs. John Halligan also wants higher rates of income tax. Executives of US multinational companies have already warned that high income tax rates are a disincentive to investment. If the Irish people are mad enough to fall for John Halligan's prescription, so be it. Incidentally Mr Halligan stated that Ireland was a very rich country seven years ago. Nonsense! It was floating on a sea of cheap credit which fueled an artificial property boom which provided a temporary boost to the National Finances. When the bubble burst property taxes dried up. Waterford needs to continually send out a positive message to encourage more investment. You wont see Kilkenny sending out such negative messages. The Cats are much too clever for that. The TDs who give it a miss are probably correct in their calculations. Government TDs just dont get a fair chance. The show is geared towards hyping up negativity.
Peoples debate my foot! It is just a rabble rousing programme monopolised by Sinn Fein supporters and the Hard Left. Waterford's competitors for investment can laugh tonight. Another og has been scored. Contrast the negativity from Waterford tonight with the positive publicity for the West today thanks to the Royal visit. Enough said. Some people never learn it seems.