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O’Brien calls for removal of deeply misleading article from Irish Independent website

1 February, 2012 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien has called on the Irish Independent website to remove an article which he says is deeply misleading and will deepen anti-migrant and anti-social welfare claimant sentiments among the public.

Deputy O’Brien was referring to an article today about an unemployed Polish woman living in Donegal in which a Labour Party Senator was quoted as saying he would gladly pay for the woman’s flight home.

He said selective quoting and bad translation from an original article in a Polish newspaper were used by the authors to depict the woman as someone who is taking advantage of the social welfare system in this state.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“This piece covered an article that originally appeared in a Polish language newspaper and cherry-picked, then misinterpreted what had been said, leading readers to believe that the woman and her partner at the centre of the piece were bragging about the high-life they have on the dole in Ireland. This type of bad journalism can only deepen anti-social welfare claimant and anti-immigrant sentiment among Irish people.

“It is a poor reflection on the newspaper, when the Polish Ambassador Marcin Nawrot has to write a letter to the editor to highlight mistranslations and blatant omissions of key quotes from the original article.. ‘Magda’ was very clear in her interview that she did not ‘want to live at the State’s expense’ and for that reason was using her social welfare payment to ‘start up her own business.’

“This quote was conveniently ignored by the Irish Independent. The authors also fail to quote ‘Magda’ when she says she likes to go to the local coffee shop for a three euro coffee rather than making it at home as she likes to put some money back into the local community.

“I am not surprised with the actions of the Labour Party Senator Jimmy Harte who offered to pay for Magda’s flights home. This has after all come from the party, who now believe that social welfare payments are some kind of privilege or hospitality, instead of waking up to the fact that it is their austerity policies that create the conditions where people end up dependent on social welfare.

“I am asking the Irish Independent to remove this article from its website.” ENDS

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