by James Quigley
This is in response to Corinna Mc Callig’s version of a R2W meeting in Letterkenny on Monday 2nd August that appeared on her facebook the following day. It must be said that she stated that it was her opinion, however, I totally disagree with her interpretation of events, especially about believing it to be ‘a most positive meeting’.
She referred to me as ‘one of the men of Buncrana Together’ without giving any details about what I said or about the one question I asked. That question to Mr Ogle concerned ‘Lynn Boylan’s, SF MEP, 2015 European Citizen’s Initiative which contained paragraph 92 that stated:
‘Calls on the Member States to introduce, in accordance with World Health Organisation guidelines, a pricing policy that respects people’s right to a minimum quantity of water for living and cracks down on waste, providing for the application of a progressive charge that is proportional to the amount of water used;’
I asked him did he or Righ2Water object to that paragraph at any time? Mr Ogle did not answer my question.
Mr Ogle brushed off Ms Boylan’s Citizen’s initiative saying that it had no legal standing and he agreed with a comment fromLiam Whyte, deputy Pringle's assistant, that it means nothing and to forget about it.
Thomas Pringles, TD, did respond to Michael Mooney’s question about the 9.4 Exemption and the R2W TDs claiming ‘Victory’ only on a draft report. As far as I am aware deputy Pringle’s response was the same as his radio interview on OceanFM. However, Ms Mc Callig had a different interpretation. I would like to know if Mr Pringle agrees with her when she said;
″ Pringle spoke about it, the R2W TDs on the committee, all 5 of them, tried to have it included and Fianna Fáil agreed so it was on the draft report but at the 11th hour Fine Gael phoned Fianna Fáil and threatened an election so Fianna Fáil turned coat which left only 5 TDs out of 20 voting to put the 9.4 in″
Ms Mc Callig later informed the meeting that she did not know the issues around 9.4 Exemption or the European Citizens Initiative and that she wanted to know where she could find the relevant documents.
One of Mr Ogle's most bizarre explanations came when he talked accusations that he called for an excessive use charge and again again by Steve Fitzpatrick in the Oireachtas Committee. He said that they were referring to a ‘Swimming Pool’ charge.
In the interest of clarity I have to admit that I arrived at 8.15pm. The venue was changed at the last minute from the Mount Errigal Hotel. Perhaps that accounted for the small crowd packed into a very tiny and stuffy room. The main and only speaker was Brendan Ogle and by the time I arrived he had started on his slide presentation. After his presentation Philip McFadden, SF, although not the chairperson directed proceedings. After a complaint about this, it was confirmed that Charlie McDyer was in fact chairperson, however, Mr McFadden continued to direct things anyway.
Members of the audience were allowed three questions. The meeting finished at approx 10pm, inconclusively, in my opinion, and according to my sensibility, acrimoniously and without resolution; despite people agreeing with a woman called Anna Mae, who said that she had experience with conflict resolution and that what was happening tonight was positive. I can not agree that this meeting was positive nor a right setting for any conflict resolution, nor do I think a resolution can come about without reliable answers. These answers I may add, should have been given months ago, if not years, especially by so called coordinators of a so called democratic organisation.
In a previous article in Buncrana Together I stated I was not going to attend this meeting. That changed due to the level of facebook abuse myself and Enda Craig received, not only from R2W Donegal members but nationally. It is ironical that quite a few times throughout the meeting Mr Ogle rebuked people for social media abuse. I wonder does he realise that he is responsible for most of it. He has not only joined in at times, abusing his position of power but also has not stopped his followers from using such abuse. This meeting was no different.
Mr Ogle’s speech was full of threats, innuendo, misinformation, misdirection, falsehoods, condescension and of course a lot of the ‘poor me syndrome’. It was boring but seemed to be effective with his captive audience.
One clever trick he pulled was while staring in my direction he referred to people spreading lies and said ‘like some in Buncrana something or other’. He didn’t have the decency to say the full tittle but brushed it off as ‘Something’. I informed him later that the word he could not name was ‘Together’, as in Buncrana Together. However, that little trick set the tone of the evening and everyone was informed that I was one of those who he was referring to.
The format of Mr Ogle’s slide presentation reminded me of the the one he used in the past especially his treatment of Solidarity, formerly AAA, during R2C Conference in 2015. Remember when he lied on video and had it up on the screen in black and white. All stood idly by and said nothing.
The format of his slideshow was
Headings - LIE 1, LIE 2, LIE 3 and each time he listed a fictional lie. This was followed by a bullet list of what positive things he said R2W did. Each slide ended ‘WHO GAINS’. Who gains when R2W is attacked? Which side are you on?
I don’t know about you but that says to me ‘don’t criticise’, ‘don’t ask questions’, and if you do you are the enemy.