The Irish Mail on Sunday

Terrible Fair City has run its course


Despite the persistent warnings about the consequenc­es facing those who own a TV without possessing a licence, RTÉ continues to churn out some rubbish.

An irritant in recent weeks has been the totally over-the-top episodes of Fair City with adulterous and violent scenes.

Apart from a small percentage of the the cast, the standard of acting in the series is dismal. One of the few credible actors, Bryan Murray, who plays Bob Charles, came close to being written out.

But it would be a much better idea to put Fair City to eternal sleep. Bring back Glenroe, The Riordans, or The Kennedys Of Castleross!

Noel Coogan, and reviewed by them. The MoS claims that ‘from the outset… the scope of the investigat­ion was narrowed down’ by those completing it and that it is ‘fundamenta­lly flawed’.

Bus Éireann received four redacted ‘affidavits’ electronic­ally, as alleged evidence into malpractic­e in relation to the tendering process. Only one of these was readable, when opened in a particular software programme and the allegation­s within this were investigat­ed and formed the basis of the report to the ministers.

The company could not identify individual­s or employees named in the other redacted affidavits and this is the only reason why these could not be investigat­ed. The gardaí now have all this material and the company has consistent­ly called for anyone with any alleged evidence of corruption or bribery to bring this to the gardaí. The ministers who commission­ed the report have received it and have not sought any further informatio­n from the company on foot of this.

The MoS claims to have had ‘interviews’ with a Bus Éireann official who claims to have taken ‘sweeteners’. This informatio­n should have been forwarded to gardaí.

Bus Éireann has a 40-year tradition of providing a service for schoolchil­dren and currently carries 114,000 schoolchil­dren on 6,000 routes across the country during the school term.

There are 40 million journeys on the scheme annually. More than €30m has been saved across the service since 2008 and at the same time 750 new services have been added and over 2,000 service improvemen­ts have been made.

A cumulative rebate of €10.5m was paid to the Department of Education during this period. An independen­t value-formoney review in 2011 endorsed Bus Éireann’s operation of this scheme.

The MoS asserts that the company ‘enjoys all the legal privileges of a private company and none of the commercial risks’. In fact, Bus Éireann has three separate business strands, which comprise the PSO routes, the School Transport Scheme and Expressway. Expressway is a commercial service and receives no State subvention.

It provides services to many rural towns and communitie­s at no cost to the State.

Finally, the MoS claims that it published ‘new evidence that lends further damning credence to the allegation’. The disciplina­ry investigat­ion in Limerick and its outcome has previously been reported in another national newspaper.

Martin Nolan,

author, complains about the high levels of violence in TV

crime dramas

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