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Shameful Dempsey caves in to Sky television demands on Ryder Cup

5 April, 2006

Reacting to news that the Ryder Cup won't be added to the list of sporting events designated to be broadcast free-to-air by the Minister for Communications, Noel Dempsey, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport and Tourism, Martin Ferris TD, said it was a "shameful" decision.

Deputy Ferris said, "Once again it is clear that this government is more than prepared to give in to the greedy demands and powerful lobbying of a major corporation, in this case the Rupert Murdoch owned SKY television, against the interests of ordinary people.

"All major sporting events in Ireland, especially where Irish sport stars are participating should be free-to-air. Golf should be no different than any other sport.

"There is a tremendous affinity right across all sectors of Irish society with golfing and with the performance of the top Irish golfers at home and abroad. This decision by Noel Dempsey is a shameful one, which should be reversed. In fact this decision by the Government will ensure that the perception that exists, in some minds, of golf being an exclusive sport or hobby will be reinforced by the fact that people wishing to view this massive spectacle at home will be forced to pay Sky television handsomely for the privilege." ENDS

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