The Late Late Show and me…

21st March, 2009

Tough night last night. Reason why is in the below press statement from FG yesterday evening. More to follow……

Fine Gael Regrets Late Late Show Rejection of Party Nominee for Seanad Reform Discussion

Fine Gael regrets the decision earlier today by the Late Late Show producers to reject the Party’s nominee, Senator Paschal Donohoe, for tonight’s debate on the Seanad. Fine Gael was informed today that the position originally marked down on a three person panel for Fine Gael has now been allocated to Labour’s Alex White. This is all the more disappointing in light of Fine Gael’s publication of substantive Oireachtas reform proposals last week, including Seanad Eireann.

Fine Gael had originally been invited on Wednesday to put forward its Seanad Leader to participate in the panel discussion but she was unavailable. Fine Gael then nominated Senator Donohoe as the Party’s

The Producers of the Late Late Show advised that, on the grounds of gender balance, Senator Donohoe would not be suitable and sought an alternate from Fine Gael. When advised on Thursday evening that Senator Donohoe was the agreed Party nominee, the Programme advised that it would revert to the
Party on the matter. Following a call to the Programme today it was confirmed to Fine Gael that Senator Alex White of Labour would be allocated the spot previously earmarked for Fine Gael on the three person panel.

At 4pm this afternoon, following extensive contact between Fine Gael and RTE the Programme still refused to accept the designated Fine Gael nominee. The only change offered was a newly expanded panel of four persons, but without the designated Fine Gael Spokesman.

Fine Gael very much regrets the decision by the Late Late Show to reject an officially nominated Party Spokesman for a Programme of this importance. It is also deeply regrettable that the arguments advanced for the rejection of the proposed Spokesman were ignored when an alternate from the Labour Party was selected. Finally, as the only Party with substantive Oireachtas Reform proposals it is remarkable that our Spokesman would be rejected and Fine Gael excluded from the panel discussion as originally planned.

Given this astonishing approach to dealing with this issue and the rejection of the main Opposition party’s designated Spokesman Fine Gael regrets that it will not be participating in tonight’s show. Even at this
late stage, if the Late Late Show will accept the Fine Gael Party’s agreed Spokesman the Party would review the position.