Updated: 21/02/18 : 06:06:04
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Sligo ‘orgy’ draws laughter all around

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

AN ORGY was how a one-time government partner has described last week’s launch of the new National Plan.

Geb Nash was a minister under Enda Kenny but he didn’t spare the welly in the Seanad (Senate) yesterday.

He described going to the cinema at the weekend to see Martin McDonagh’s new film.

“Driving home I was expecting to see three billboards outside Drogheda telling me again how great it was,” said Nash to laughter from colleagues on all sides.

Razzmatazz,  Briefings

Over in the Dáil, the Opposition joined in criticism of the style and spin of last week’s launch in Sligo.

Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen accused the Government of disregarding the Dáil prior to the launch of the Plan.

Taxpayer funds had, he said, been used for razzmatazz and briefings had been provided to media and sectional interests before the Dail.

Added Cowen: “This is not Fine Gael's money, this is taxpayers’ money, and you'd better remember that.

“The taxpayer needs to know where its money is being spent.

“What money is being used to address the here and now in 2018, let alone what's on the never-never in 2040,” RTE’s News Now reported Cowen.

First Time

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin said the event in Sligo last week was “probably the most expensive press conference in the history of the State.”

"Not only was there a very fancy website .....but newspaper, TV and cinema adverts.

“I wonder is that the first time in the history of a Government that ads promoting something like this have been in cinemas,” he asked.