A lobbyist has found himself at the centre of an internet storm after social media users shared explicit articles of him praising a former member of Dáil Eireann.
Main stream media are ignoring the disturbing incident saying that lobbyists praising politicians is nothing new.
Many social media users were quick to condemn the lobbyists behaviour – as ‘uninformed’ ‘talking through his hole’ and ‘bizarre’.
According to Leinster House sources, ‘lobbyists are sound’ towards politicians ‘they give tickets to events and often met up with them for drinks in Leinster House’. Another Leinster House source said, ‘Shure they call all the time to have friendly chats and ask how the other half is and chat about the tobacco or drinks industry, or whichever industry the lobbyist is working for now’. ‘Its all above board and very innocent.’
Transparency campaigners in recent times have become worried about the number of former Fianna Fail TD’s, back-room boys and Ministers thats have joined Public relations and Public affairs companies acting as ‘consultants’. Campaigners have warned that lobbyists writing ‘puff pieces’ while masquerading as public affairs consultants and public relations companies represent a ‘growing problem’ which it is almost impossible to regulate due to the fast-moving nature of social media.
A spoke-person for Quangos Ireland has hit back saying ‘there are no transparency issues at all, at all with former Ministers lobbying quangos’, even though they may have been appointed to the board by a former minister.
So effective are lobbyists, that campaigners are considering hiring lobbyists to advocate on behalf of the Irish people. Citing a desire to have the voters voice heard by the Government.
Political scientists at the University of Ballymagash have described recent legislation introduced to curb the activities of lobbyists as ‘not worth a shite’.
This sentiment was backed up by the Prince of Darkness, former Fianna Fail spin doctor, P.J Mara in an interview with the Irish Examiner.
‘If that’s what they want to do, away with them . But it’s still not going to stop people having quiet words in corners. People are going to find their way around that, if they want to.’