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A bird's eye view of the vineyard
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DCC still ripping freedom of expression and speech from the lampposts of Dublin
rights, freedoms and repression |
Thursday July 27, 2006 21:57 by Seán Ryan
DCC are ignoring the removal of the Ban on Public Notices in Dublin. The Ban is still in effect, despite a recent vote by DCC to remove the illegal Ban.
Inside Colm's Handcart
I was on O’Connell St. today. I noticed to my delight that there were many posters hung up. The people of Dublin had their voice back, I thought as I examined them as I walked. Everything from posters describing missing persons and calling for information and help to posters from the IAWM depicting a torture victim from Abu Ghraib advertising a public event where ex interrogator Joshua Casteel will speak of his experiences to the public tonight at the ATGWU hall on Middle Abbey St.
I was walking towards this striking IAWM poster to get a better look, when I spotted a DCC (Dublin City Council) worker coming towards me, pushing a handcart. I stopped up and waited until he came level with the poster – confident that he’d not have the audacity to rip it down in broad daylight. It was 2.45pm.
Without so much as a sideways glance, the worker pulled the poster down and threw it into his handcart.
I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, but nonetheless I went up to this worker and began to question him.
Me: Did you know that you are interfering with the freedom of speech and expression by ripping these posters down?
Colm (I asked his name later): I’m just doing what I was told to do.
Me: What were you told to do?
Colm: I was told to take down any posters I saw on O’Connell St.
Me: All the posters?
Colm: Yeah – all posters.
Me: Who told you to do this?
Colm: My boss.
Me: Your boss told you to take down every poster on O’Connell St., without exception?
Colm: Yeah – my boss.
Me: Who is your boss?
Colm: Joe Crosbie.
I ended my conversation with Colm after finding out where I’d get my hands on this Joe Crosbie. Colm continued on his way down O’Connell St. ripping the freedom of expression from poles as he went – Joe Crosbie and DCC would be very proud of him, he didn’t miss a single one.
Having no camera, I phoned Mr. H, a good friend who arrived within minutes, with his camera.
We caught up with Colm and photographed him and the contents of his handcart. Colm seemed a nice bloke, and I’ve decided not to publish photos of him – he told me that he’d had no choice in the matter and that he needed the job. I’m not too impressed with what Colm does for a living, but I don’t see him as the cause of the problem. [However, if this practice does not stop immediately, I will start publishing pictures of those who remove posters at their masters’ bidding.]
Myself and H made our way to 52 Sean McDermot St. to confront and demand an explanation from this Joe Crosbie.
I was told by the lady at reception, that Joe Crosbie was on leave currently, and that his boss Hugh McKenna was not available. Simon Brock a worker from the Public Domain office was called out to talk to me.
Simon told me that Joe Crosbie’s full job title was: Public Domain Officer. (Joe can be contacted at 01 – 222 5303)
When asked who Joe Crosbie’s immediate boss was, replied: Hugh McKenna. Hugh is Assistant Area Manager and can be contacted at 01 – 222 2934. If unsuccessful at this number try: 01 – 9732934.
I told Simon of my encounter with DCC employee Colm on O’Connell St. earlier and asked him if DCC were aware that the Poster Ban had been lifted. Simon told me that he’d check this for me and get back to me. He took my mobile no. and myself and H left.
I wonder if Cllr Dermot Lacey wants to get involved in this?
Dermot expressed outrage at the thoughts of DCC impeding free expression and offered to help in a piece I’d written a short while back. This was written in response to a point made by fellow Indy contributer Pat C, when he described witnessing a DCC employee ripping down posters.
Dermot Lacey: “I would be grateful if Pat and anyone else with issues on this matter would contact me as I am disturbed at different stories I am hearing about this. While we may differ on some issues the right to Freedom of expression and protest is in my book too important to be allowed be interfered with in the manner I am hearing. As a Councillor my understanding is that anyone wishing to poster simply had to apply to City Manager inform that the posters were going up and that they would be down in seven days. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org"
It’s obvious that Dermot has not followed up on earlier complaints yet. But he may do so this time – one never knows.
Anyway in order to help Dermot or anyone else who may wield some authority (I’m sure Joan Collins will help too), I’ve compiled a pecking order starting with Colm. Heads need to roll folks, and if it’s Colm’s there’ll be hell to pay – that’s a promise.
Colm: DCC worker who removes posters from poles.
Joe Crosbie: Public Domain Officer. (Phone no. above)
Hugh McKenna: Assistant Area Manager (Phone no. above)
Charlie Lowe: Area Manager. Phone no. 01 – 2223033
Sean Carey: Assistant city manager 01 – 2223800
John Tierney: City Manager. Phone no. 01 – 2222100 (Replaced John Fitzgerald after he resigned a few weeks ago.)
Terence O'Keefe is the Law Agent for DCC and is not part of the ‘pecking order described above, however, Terence is responsible for all legal and in this case illegal acts by DCC. Phone no. 01 – 2223211
As I’ve said heads need to roll. The list above contains all the relevant suspects. And again to pick Colm as the ‘fall guy’ is not acceptable.
Directions for persons wishing to avail of the lift on the Poster Ban in Dublin
Motion on Poster Ban passed at DCC
The Silenced Majority
Copy of IAWM poster I witnessed being ripped from a pole
Joe Crosbie can be found here