Posts Tagged ‘Fianna Fail’

Protection for (or from) Whistleblowers!

November 29, 2017

Protecting the Whistleblower

Frances Fitzgerald, the Tanaiste has resigned “for the sake of the country“..

Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach has thanked her, for her service and has declared that it is a shame that a good woman who has done nothing wrong has resigned..

Fianna Faíl have got their way and they will quietly sit in the wings waiting, waiting, waiting until the perfect moment to pull that trigger.  They exercised their power in a big, public gesture and won this power battle..

Noel Waters, Secretary-General of the Department of Justice has decided to take early retirement and he is angry about the witch hunt against the organisation that he has been in charge of..

Noírín O’Sullivan, the Garda Commissioner, who was publicly supported by the Government retired in September (after her holidays!)..

A devious, nasty campaign against Maurice McCabe, the Garda Whistleblower, Parking Fines, Breath Tests – the whole thing is a shambles, a debacle of monumental proportions and yet at this moment in time no one is saying sorry and no one seems to be doing anything to sort anything out.

One of the critical instruments of the State, our police force, is totally out of control and no one is taking any responsibility – “I did nothing wrong“…The problem is that you did nothing!!!

But, phew..the crisis has been averted for now and there will be no General Election this side of Christmas – we can all get on with our shopping.

But..what about the Whistleblower??

Somewhere in the mix, the whole point of all of this seems to have gone over everyone’s heads.

What about Maurice McCabe??

Have we heard anyone in authority saying (in a manner that we believe them) that we will not put up with any corruption in our State organisations as it will not be tolerated and any whistleblower will get all of our protection?

Have we heard anyone apologising publicly to Maurice McCabe?

Instead we have listened to horrendous stories of legal strategies against him and “it wasn’t in my jurisdiction to interfere“.

In this country we have legislation that was enacted in 2014 to protect Whistleblowers.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 aims to protect people who raise concerns about possible wrongdoing in the workplace. The Act, which came into effect on 15 July 2014. It provides for redress for employees who are dismissed or otherwise penalised for having reported possible wrongdoing in the workplace. 

Some of the detail:

(from the Citizens Information Board website)

Under the Act, you make a protected disclosure if you are a worker and you disclose relevant information in a particular way.

Information is relevant if it came to your attention in connection with your work and you reasonably believe that it tends to show wrongdoing.

This wrongdoing may be occurring or suspected to be occurring either inside or outside of the country. Even if the information is proved to be incorrect, you are still protected by the Act provided you had a reasonable belief in the information.

Wrongdoing is widely defined in the Act and includes the commission of criminal offences, failure to comply with legal obligations, endangering the health and safety of individuals, damaging the environment, miscarriage of justice, misuse of public funds, and oppressive, discriminatory, grossly negligent or grossly mismanaged acts or omissions by a public body.

The definition also includes the concealment or destruction of information about any of the above wrongdoing.

The Act gives people anonymity, it describes how people should go about making a Protected Disclosure and it outlines how the Employer must act when presented with a disclosure.

All of this sounds great in practice, and there will be a poor sod who actually believes it and goes about reporting something they feel morally bound to do!! (Ssssh..if he/she was a friend or work colleague of yours what would you whisper in their ear?).

The Big Question?

So, taking the whole recent circus into account, lets be really honest here for a moment.

If you were in the scenario, working for a State body and who felt strongly about some bad crap or “wrongdoing” that was going on where you worked what would you do?

I’m guessing you would either shut up and say nothing (and perpetuate the problem) or just leave.

We have all learnt a big lesson – don’t complain!!

This is a wonderful country..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland



The difference between Leadership and a “Spokesperson said”

December 8, 2015

Councillor Joe Queenan

Last night Fianna Fail issued a statement after the resignation of disgraced Councillor Joe Queenan (don’t you love the camera hidden in the box of tissues!)

The statement was as expected:

Following the Primetime Investigates Standards in Public Office programme, a Spokesperson for Fianna Fáil commented, “Tonight the Party has accepted the resignation of Cllr Joe Queenan. Some of the behaviour displayed in tonight’s programme was shocking and completely unacceptable. The instances where there appear to be clear breaches of the law need to be fully investigated by the Gardaí and prosecutions brought where appropriate.”

Click to view the full Fianna Fail Joe Quennan statement.

It was an appropriate statement and it was very important that Fianna Fail issued it quickly but I do have a big question – why a Spokesperson?

Why do organisations like this choose to go this anonymous, nothing ‘spokesperson‘ route instead of grabbing the opportunity and demonstrating clear leadership, authority and direction?

We don’t want a ‘Spokesperson‘!!

Instead we want a leader, someone who speaks out, someone who is willing to take responsibility and put their name behind the statement and show clearly what is expected of their organisation.

We want a person who will take the interviews, face the music and show some conviction.

Next time you are writing a press release try to avoid the bland, cop out of the “Spokesperson said” if you want to show leadership and authority and you want people to take you more seriously.

Well done to the Primetime Investigates team at RTE!

Greg Canty 

Fuzion PR Services – Cork and Dublin, Ireland 


Budget 2010 – The Rewind

December 10, 2009
Brian Linehan - Budget 2010

Budget 2010 - Brian Linehan

All as expected really, with the pre-press, various leaks etc all preparing everyone for what pretty much happened.

Happy? – I guess being selfish about it we all examine how it affects us personally and on this occasion there were no direct hits to the ship! If we drink more than we use diesel then we are making money! That was a strange one that seemed to catch everyone by surprise.

Whichever way you look at it a lot of money will be taken from circulation, which will effect everyone both as private individuals and those in business. This has affected pretty much all of us this year already – I wonder in real terms how much less money was in circulation this year than before? It must be a huge figure.

The real budget headline for me was one of ‘Rewind’, the Government trying to take back what it probably gave away too easily in better times. It always amazes me how easy it is to get used to extra money, you seem to automatically adjust your lifestyle and mostly to the extent that you have a ‘new level’ of necessities.

Try taking it back after! Different story altogether.

So whether we think the public service or those on welfare are overpaid or not, this is real people we are talking about who are all waking up this morning contemplating significant financial adjustments. The unions will no doubt huff and puff and end up blowing nothing down, just raise a level of anger and frustration with a lot of people. At the end of the day it will be real people who will be really affected, some worse than others.

Today spare a thought for those who do not have a cushion of excess income and can comfortably take an income hit and as a result will be under serious pressure. Try to forget about all the public v private sector stuff, it does none of us any good, these are all our neighbours.

Rewinding is much tougher than fast forwarding.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

It will get better when we stop saying it will get worse.

November 30, 2009

Brian Cowen - Fianna Fail

Getting Better

It will get worse before it gets better!

What was he thinking when he said this?

I am talking about Brian Cowen of course, the leader of our government, the leader of our country.   I consider myself to be one of the very lucky ones in the last week with the floods. Except for a leaky roof in our office and a lack of running water, no floods and pretty much business as usual.

It is difficult to empathise with people who have had their houses flooded and their livelihoods effectively ended or at least seriously threatened due to the floods. What is it like to be exhausted after days of battling with flood water, struggling with no water to drink or wash, trying to clean up and rescue what you can from the debris? I can only imagine.

In that position I imagine I want to hear things like: “Don’t worry, you will be looked after”, “We will have it all sorted really soon”, not “It will get worse before it gets better” – that must make your hole seem ever deeper. Hope or despair?

Come on Brian, have some cop on will you? Bring people hope not despair. Besides managing how about leading for a change?

You made the same comments after the last budget – why do you think most of the country is half petrified about the economy and their livelihoods. Confidence and positivity will bring optimism, will loosen the purse strings and assist recovery not “It will get worse before it gets better”

It will only get better when we stop talking about it getting worse..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, Dublin & Cork

The Fear Factor

May 23, 2009

Greg Canty, Fuzion Communications

Greg Canty, Fuzion Communications

It started off with gentle messages about ‘tightening our belts’ and gradually built into a frenzy of bad news mania. The media were willing partners, picking up on every negative story and then a new breed of ‘doomsday experts’ appeared who started telling us that not only were things really bad but that they would be bad for even longer than initially expected. The experts became even better experts, making even worse predictions and in the process became the darlings of the media as well as the after dinner speech and conference circuit – and doing quite nicely in the process! At least there was one growth industry in the recession!!!

The overall campaign was a resounding success with huge momentum as the country was gripped by absolute terror by the start of this year; the fear in everyone was tangible. The natural business lull in January was interpreted by many as the new norm and companies started laying people off (even those who were actually doing fine), cutting back on wages with 10% decreases being quite a standard number, and cutting out on many of their service providers.

Some of it made good business sense and we would be fooling ourselves to ignore reality and acknowledge that some serious market correction was required, but we must question the situation – “Is the market performing worse than it needs to be due to the ‘Fear Factor’?” “Are people largely unaffected by the recession behaving cautiously and not spending due to fear, or the new trend to start being thrifty?” Two years ago you were the ‘odd one out’ if you didn’t have a holiday home and some investment property, now you are the ‘odd one out’ if you are not shopping in Lidl or Aldi.

Is it any surprise that the government tax take was below expectation at the start of the year?

The country is now gripped by fear and even those with money are holding back. When quite a sensible friend of mine, who prudently buys a new car every 6 years, confessed that he felt a little embarrassed in his ’09 car, that people might think he was being too opulent in these times, I knew things had gone too far!  Especially when the car he purchased was a Skoda – not that I have anything against the brand, but it hardly screams extravagance!

We are now free falling into a self fulfilling prophecy and things have become as bad as we feared.

The terrible financial outcome from this lack of spending due to the “Fear Factor” is that our government have not allowed for a recovery period and have decided to take the tax off people directly. Instead of being taxed when we spend (and enjoy) our money it is being whipped off us at source – brilliant piece of logic and leadership!!!

The recent emergency budget was totally negative – it does nothing to stimulate the economy, but will take money directly out of our pockets, including paying double for our dreadful Health Service (don’t get me started here!!!) with absolutely no signs of tackling the level of public spending. There is a small crumb thrown at enterprise – a new €100m fund to help business, based on passed experience, the agency set up to oversee this will probably take half of the budget to cover its operating costs!!

All of this was compounded by Brian Cowen’s final words on the budget ‘Things will get even worse in the next few years’ or words to that effect. Even his body language communicated negativity.  Why would he make such a negative comment at the end of such a harsh budget?  The most worrying aspect is that he said this without understanding the damage this negativity would cause.

This was the icing on the cake for the ‘Fear Factor’ campaign, overall a resounding success!

But who should step up to the podium and in front of the flashing lights to receive the award?

My vote goes to Brian Cowen, the leader of the country who has to accept a large portion of the responsibility for the success of the “Fear Factor” Campaign.

Neither Brian nor his colleagues have showed strong and cohesive leadership since the reshuffle last year.  We need our leaders to lead at this critical state we are in.  We need leaders to do more than fight fires.   Our government needs to start leading a positive campaign and really quickly as this is the only way to drag the country out of the current mess.

Real recovery will only come with hope and optimism, when we believe there is some light at the end of this dark tunnel, not another even darker tunnel.

Greg Canty is a partner in Fuzion Communications, providing Marketing Consultancy, PR and Graphic Design services.For a consultation contact

Web: Phone :(021) 4271234