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We don't want iPads - Irish MEPs tell EU

IRISH MEPs have poured cold water on a proposal to supply them and their 724 colleagues with iPads.

The controversial idea would cost around €4m and is understood to be among a raft of proposals under consideration for the European Parliament's 2011 budget.

However, Irish representatives in Strasbourg are not so sure they need the latest piece of technology from Apple.

The iPad is being touted as a revolutionary piece of technology that will change how we communicate and access information but isn't due to be released in Ireland until July.

According to reports, the parliament is considering scrapping PCs and other pieces of technology in favour of iPads but Irish MEPs say it might be too soon to make such an investment.

Leinster MEP Mairead McGuinness told the Herald she is not opposed to the idea but it would have to be done for the right reasons.

"If it helps us to do our job better or makes communication easier, then great, but if it's a toy, I'm not into toys.

"Sometimes more gadgets are a hindrance to work," she said.

Her colleague Gay Mitchell from Dublin said he finds it hard enough to manage his phone, while West Ireland representative Marian Harkin said she had "no opinion".

Ms McGuinness said talk of iPads in Ireland was premature because of the "appalling quality" of broadband here.

"If it helps to have better communications then it's worth looking at," she said.

"If it's another gadget, no. If it replaces older technology and if it gives better service, yes. At the moment I would be inclined to say no."

Mr Mitchell said he knew nothing of the proposals to supply iPads and suggested he would have little interest in it.

"I find it hard to manage my phone," he said.

Ms Harkin gave a similar response saying she also knew nothing about the proposal.

"I've never used an iPad so I don't know," she said.

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