Friday 28 October 2016

'It was an unsafe situation' - Reporter who walked into lamppost as he door-stepped Joe Costello

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 02/12/2015 | 18:58

Roving reporter Andy Whelan tries to question Labour TD Joe Costello
Roving reporter Andy Whelan tries to question Labour TD Joe Costello
Labour TD Joe Costello described the group following him as he left the meeting as "very noisy and disruptive"

Andy Whelan, a citizen journalist from Revolution Republic News, hit the headlines yesterday when he walked headfirst into a lamppost as he quizzed Labour TD Joe Costello.

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Whelan was walking alongside the TD as he exited a public meeting which had discussed the living wage and zero hour contracts.

Following the collision the roving reporter exclaimed to the camera, "Jesus that was one hell of a bang and a half.

"Well, it can’t be said I’m not willing to take a hit for the team.

Fortunately Whelan was not seriously injured and he said that apart for a brief spell of double vision he was back to his best by this morning.

"It was a dinger of a bang.

"I was so concentrated on what I was doing that I wasn't looking where I was going.

"My own stupidity caused it," he told the Liveline show on RTE Radio 1.

Whelan told host Joe Duffy that he and his camera man were refused entry to the public meeting and decided to wait outside until Joe Costello and his colleagues emerged.

"We're targeting all TD's that haven't followed up on their election promises.

"I was hoping to get an answer as to Joe's stance on the living wage," he said.

Mr. Costello then joined the conversation on today's Liveline, asking Whelan if he was "OK" after his mishap.

The Labour TD described the group that followed him as he left the meeting as "very noisy and disruptive, they were shouting and roaring."

Mr. Costello explained that he was giving two people a lift back to Cabra, a blind man with a white cane, and a young woman.

"They were walking behind me and were jostled and were shaken by it, the blind man was frightened," he said.

Mr. Costello told Whelan that he is "the most available politician in the country" and that he would be happy to talk to him at anytime.

Meanwhile it seems Whelan has learned his lesson as vowed not to repeat his roving reporter act in the future.

"I won't be doing it again, it was an unsafe situation," he said.

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