Wednesday 7 December 2016

Honesty and plain speaking will help restore public trust

Published 29/04/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's notoriously strict defamation laws have been called into question ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Ireland's notoriously strict defamation laws have been called into question ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

This is not a letter to discuss the merits of Irish Water, an argument on the company's feasibility or its possible necessity - instead, it seeks to raise a point as to how the worth of any idea lives or dies on how it's delivered.

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Let it first be said that historically, there has been some extremely poor public policy allowed to occur all on the back of the well-managed delivery of the message. In recent years, we've had the dissolution of the Health Boards, the establishment of the National Roads Authority and selling of toll roads to private operators, and the abolition of Town Councils.

All were extremely short-sighted policies that were successfully passed by capturing the public mood, and delivering in a language that empathised with the fears of key demographics.

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