Saturday 23 September 2017

More you watch Dail TV . . . less you like politicians

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

VOTERS' opinions of TDs get worse the more they see the Dail on TV, new research reveals.

The findings come as Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett once again said he was inundated with complaints from the public about the behaviour of TDs in the Dail chamber.

Cable television company UPC started running an Oireachtas TV channel last year.

The company carried out a study of viewers on their perception of the Dail after watching it on TV, which was circulated to TDs and senators.

The research results indicate that watching the Dail on TV didn't improve the public's views of politicians or how hard they work.

When asked if seeing the proceedings of the Oireachtas on TV changed their view of politicians for the better, a far larger number disagreed than agreed.

A whopping 24pc strongly disagreed that watching the Dail on TV improved their views on politicians, while a measly 4pc strongly agreed that it did change their view for the better.

Majority

Likewise, when it came to being asked about seeing the proceedings on TV enhancing their view of how hard politicians work, it got even worse, as a clear majority also disagreed with the contention.

But a clear majority said a dedicated Oireachtas channel would make the political system more accessible and make the politicians more accountable.

As it happens, Mr Barrett, yet again, gave out to TDs for their constant interruptions and shouting in the Dail chamber.

"I remind deputies that this is live on television. I also remind them of the notices that come to my office about the disgust at the behaviour of some members of the House on an ongoing basis.

"I ask them please to show some example and stay quiet and not try to shout down the other speaker," he said.

"I thank them very much for their non-co-operation to date but I sincerely hope I get co-operation from now on."

Irish Independent

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