professional agitators

Brendan Howlin thinks left-wing parties "thrive in chaos"

…and if those rumours of an €800 windfall for public servants are true.

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND Reform Minister Brendan Howlin stopped by for a High Table Interview today.

You can watch some of our wide-ranging interview below.

Here’s what we learned, aside from the fact he’s got moves:

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The minister is “really proud” of Labour and what they have achieved in office – recently launching 5 Days 5 Ways to highlight the party’s “record on reform”.

Howlin told us ultra-left parties and politicians are “professional agitators” who “thrive in chaos”.

He knows they’re becoming more popular – due in part to the public being angry at the government after years of austerity – but thinks people “are rational when they come to vote” and won’t necessarily support these groups on election day.

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Watch Howlin describe why he feels Labour is a better option than Sinn Féin, and if he thinks Gerry Adams could be Taoiseach:

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The Irish Times reported this morning that public servants are in for an €800 windfall after years of cutbacks, ahead of next week’s talks on pay restoration.

Is this figure in the right ball park?

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We also asked Howlin about the controversial remarks made by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who said some unemployed people are “allergic to work”.

Does he agree?

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Finally, watch Howlin discuss why he’s nervous about the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum:

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He said he’ll likely be voting No in the presidential age referendum, by the way – as he has “real doubts” about a 21-year-old running for president.

There’ll be more from our interview with Howlin over the coming days.

All videos: Paul Hosford/Órla Ryan

Public servants could be in for €800 windfall

Michael Noonan is copping a lot of flack for saying some people are ‘allergic to work’

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