I was in the city centre on Friday night, just as the polls were preparing to close, and happened upon the hugely impressive illuminated Liberty Hall (hard to miss, in fact, and far and away the most dramatic installation the city has seen since poor Lord Nelson got blown off his perch in 1966).
Below is some footage I recorded with my trusty iPhone video:
By 10.30pm on Friday, the bush telegraph was rattling furiously with news from Fine Gael’s exit poll indicating a thumping 2:1 Yes vote. And by the 11am news bulletins on Saturday, it was clear that Lisbon was done and dusted.
Sympathies, after a fashion, to RTÉ and others, who had been planning hours upon hours of coverage across the 41 constituencies. They had to rapidly reshuffle and curtail coverage once it was clear that there was no doubt whatever about the outcome. It may not have been what the international media travelled to Dublin in such huge numbers to witness, but too bad, it was a great result for us and for the EU, and that’s what matters.
The lack of emphasis on the part of the Irish media on such esoteric topics as Copenhagen and the climate crisis was brought home by the distinctly luke-warm coverage of the Comhar Green New Deal launch on Thursday. While it made the early morning bulletins and a short piece on RTÉ’s Six-One TV bulletin, it had disappeared by the main 9pm news bulletin. To be fair, it did re-surface on Prime Time with four-minute report by Mike Milotte.
However, by Friday morning’s papers, it was pretty much a non-story, featuring in a small inside news page report in the Irish Times, similar in the Examiner. The Irish Independent, Ireland’s largest selling ‘quality’ daily, was far more interested in the forthcoming Green Party convention on whether or not to stay in government. It covered the Comhar launch in totality as follows:
“….He (Gormley) was speaking at the launch of a ‘Green New Deal’ plan — and was anxious to avoid discussing animal health and climate change policy”. If there was more, then I missed it. The Irish edition of the Sun apparently had a piece called “Go green in the red”. My subscription must have lapsed, so I missed last Friday’s edition, and modesty seems to prevent them posting it online, thus we can only wonder what their enigmatic headline was all about.
The point remains: this stuff is just not engaging the Irish media. My admittedly limited monitoring of the broadcast media over the weekend drove home that sense of same-old-same-old. It’s not just that they’re not talking about the climate crisis/calamity, increasingly , it seems like they simply don’t know how, or are blithely unaware of this being something rather more than just another of those esoteric “international” news stories that is dusted off and dutifully (and minimally) covered every now and again.
This is a topic to which I hope to return later this week.