Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Stick to your kebabs… *updated*

Headlines from today's Mirror tabloid on the following row. Read on below for more...


SUCH a furore in our national parliament, the Dail, today! But to explain it properly, I need to fill you in with some background details. The sorry tale begins a few weeks ago when it transpired that a construction company, GAMA, hit the headlines after being accused of exploiting its immigrant workers from Turkey.

It has emerged that GAMA was paying its workers as little as €2 an hour, working 11 to 12 hours a day, forcing them to live on-site in horrendous conditions with only two Sundays off in a month. This caused an absolute scandal as you all can imagine and the Turkish/GAMA workers’ plight was championed by many people including a TD (member of Irish Parliament) called Joe Higgins.

Worker pictured at a recent demonstration against their exploitation

So backgrounds details covered, today in the Dail was something else! Deputy Joe Higgins was speaking about another issue concerning Dublin airport when a junior Government minister in the Department of Foreign Affairs told him to “stick to the kebabs” – no doubt in reference to Deputy Higgin’s work with the GAMA construction workers.

Where do I begin!!!! I haven’t a clue but needless to say I find the arrogance of Minister (YES he’s a MINISTER) Lenihan staggering. And I say arrogance because we know there is inherent racism in us all and it is something that we need to strive to wipe out, but to utter this in the national parliament goes beyond the beyond.

Lovely!!!! Lenihan

As you can imagine, this caused an uproar and no doubt Lenihan was instructed to go back and apologise, which he did, big deal. The fact is at the time of the comment, the camera in the Dail swung from Higgins to a laughing Lenihan who was no doubt delighted with his little quip… Compare this with the swift apology which followed, he looked no more apologetic than my big toe, which is oddly defiant....

What delightful representatives we have and these are the people whom we are entrusting direction on anti-racism campaigns. In fact the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin, just yesterday launched a guide for cultural diversity for teachers, she should think about amending it for her party colleagues. It would appear they are in a dire and desperate need of it.

If you feel anyway strongly about this, feel free to email Deputy Lenihan and tell him so go to or email

You can check out more on this at


cube said...

Just curious... but by red mum do you mean communist?

Red Mum said...

LOL, nope its the hair colour.

Bernard said...

How depressing! I thought you were a Liverpool fan!