Pelting Politicians with Turkeys on the Doorsteps

Danny Healy Rae, TD attacking the government for the lack of high-speed broadband. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Danny Healy Rae, TD attacking the government for the lack of high-speed broadband in rural Ireland. ©Photograph: John Reidy

“I’m glad to get the opportunity to speak about this important issue but I believe that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael would be better advised to work together rather than attacking each other across the floor of the House,” said Deputy Danny Healy Rae in Dáil Éireann during the week.

He continued: “It ought to be remembered that the two are in Government together. Whether it is called a coalition or whatever is called, one party is holding the other up or supporting it. That is a fact.

Lack of High Speed Broadband

“The lack of high-speed broadband is a serious issue throughout the country. It was one of the most dominant issues at the previous election and will be again in the next one whenever that is. People are sick to death of talking about broadband instead of the powers that be getting on with it and organising proper broadband in the country for all the people.

“Some 33% of households in Kerry need State intervention to acquire broadband. They are entitled to that connectivity with the world. The implications of Eir pulling out of this tendering process is that Enet will have the monopoly but in fact Eir will still have the monopoly as Enet must use Eir’s infrastructure. The big question is whether Enet has the capacity to carry out the operation and to do so on its own. Many people wonder if it has the ability to do so.

A black faced sheep at the entrance to The Black Valley.  ©Photograph: John Reidy
A black faced sheep at the entrance to The Black Valley. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The Black Valley

“This story puts me in mind of 50 years ago when a place called the Black Valley did not have electricity. At that time, my father had a massive battle to get the Black Valley electrified. Ten or 15 years later the same thing happened again with the Black Valley, with places such as the pocket in Glenmore where they could not get mobile phone coverage.

“Happily, the Black Valley has mobile phone coverage now, but not all of it. We are told that farmers must submit applications online, or subcontractors’ payments must be agreed online when they are looking for approval from the Revenue Commissioners.

“Everything is online and the only line they have at the present time is their clothes line. That is God’s gospel truth. It affects them when using online banking. Small companies have problems paying wages when they do not have broadband.

Left the People Standing

Take places such as Mangerton in Killarney. We cannot understand what is happening.

“There were 40 houses to be connected there. For some reason, management pulled Eir away, closed up the trench and left the people there standing, as it were. There are pockets in different places across Kerry where there could be 12, 20 or it could be 30 houses where houses have broadband around them but and they cannot understand how they have been left behind and have none.

“Why was it not carried out methodically? Who is running this show? Who is responsible? I have asked the Minister, whom I do not blame personally, but I do blame both sides of the House who are attacking each other tonight.

Talk it Out

“They ought to get into some room in here – there are plenty of them – get around a table and talk it out to secure all-party agreement as to what must be done. If they go out to the people, whenever the next election is, every one of us will be roasted.

“It’s like the man who told me that if we went to the doors before Christmas, ‘God almighty, Danny, they will be pelting turkeys at you.’

“If the Government goes before the people without doing something about the broadband before the next election, they will have the kettle and the frying pan and the whole lot at them,” Deputy Healy Rae concluded.


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