Sunday, November 23, 2008


Blackberry Storm users set to be ripped off

On behalf of the Labour Party I had the responsibility and honour to speak in tribute to the late Seamus Brennan last week. Seamus' wife Ann and family were in the public gallery at the time to hear the tributes. You could tell from the heartfelt comments how much respect and warmth he generated in those who knew and loved him. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

I took the Order of Business in the Seanad on Wednesday. I spoke about the fact that the new blackberry storm is about to come out and that once again the Irish are going to be ripped off. In the Netherlands the phone is free. In Newry the phone is free. In Navan it will cost €110. And the ongoing contract prices are higher too. In this climate where every cent counts these multinational phone service providers take the biscuit!

Afterwards we had the Committee Stage of the Housing Miscellaneous Bill. Whilst we join with others in welcoming the Bill, the Labour Party has tabled plenty of amendments to the Bill in an attempt to improve it. I was glad to see that the Minister did accept a small number of our proposals, but on others he didn't budge. As a result ourselves and the Fine Gael Senators called several votes. On one occasion we came remarkably close and lost by only two votes (usually we are nowhere near as close as this). It turned out subsequently that some government Senators had failed to hear the Division Bell going around the house. Could it be that their ears have received too much of a bashing recently?

Later I travelled up to Croke Park to watch the Ireland vs Poland game. The only tickets available were for the Polish end, which we took. Initially I thought that I was in the Cork end - everyone was in red and white scarves and I couldn't understand a word that anyone was saying.

The spectacle was amazing. Of the crowd of 75,000 the vast majority were Polish.


The atmosphere was great and despite being surrounded by so many opposing fans we felt in no way threatened.

As an example of how Ireland has changed it was very telling. Here we had 75,000 Irish residents of different nationalities and different ages watching a team of 11 players resident in Poland and 11 players resident in England, managed by an Italian. Who says we haven't embraced Europe!

On Saturday I heard the news that we are to run three candidates in the Dunshaughlin Area. New candidate Michael McLoughlin of Dunboyne will join with new candidate Niamh McGowan of Ashbourne and Ratoath along with John King of Ashbourne. We will certainly be doing our utmost to try and win seats in this 7-seater ward.

Thanks for the news about the Blackberry storm, I think I'll stop fantasizing about a new phone now.

That is infuriating!!

I hate to whinge here, but all I can say is: WHY WHY WHY?

Do you think you could maybe elaborate on why the *beep* they're going to get away with this? And if there's anything to be done about this consistently vampiric behaviour?
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