Sunday 19 November 2017

Shane Ross in a feather boa - the picture that will 'stick in the craw' of bus workers

The image Amanda Brunker posted to social media with Transport Minister Shane Ross
The image Amanda Brunker posted to social media with Transport Minister Shane Ross
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

TRANSPORT Minister Shane Ross is facing criticism for a photograph that appears to show him partying with socialite Amanda Brunker while bus workers are out in strike.

Ms Brunker posted the photograph on her Twitter page on Sunday with the caption “So… this happened last night”.

In the image the minister is wearing a feather boa while Ms Brunker gives the peace symbol.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the picture would “stick in the craw of workers who have been out for 18 days on the picket line”.

He said Bus Eireann workers “don’t want to be on strike but have no choice except to protect themselves against savage cuts to their pay and the likelihood that their jobs could be taken from them”.

“It really is pretty insulting that Shane Ross won’t engage with them but seems to be able to enjoy himself,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Minister told Independent.ie he was attending a ‘Lip Sync’ fundraising event at Naomh Olaf’s GAA Club in Sandyford.

“In his role as local TD for the constituency, he was asked – and agreed – to be a judge in the competition almost two months ago. He has been a long-time supporter of the club.

“Funds raised on the night will go towards the renovation of the Naomh Olaf's GAA clubhouse,” she said.

Mr Boyd Barrett was speaking as Solidarity-PBP TDs handing over a cheque for €2,000 to support the striking bus workers.

The six TDs handed over their salary increase that kicked in on April 1 as part of the pay restoration for public servants.

Brid Smith said: “This strike is hugely important for all workers in this country, after 19 days on strike we must insure these workers are not driven back to work or forced to accept a poor deal.

“The Government have engineered this strike by systemic underfunding and undermining of the national bus company. Their agenda is to drive down wages and conditions and use this as a blueprint for other groups of workers.”

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