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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 7 August, 2020

A Twitter row over this incredibly vague graph climaxed with a FG TD calling a voter a "moron"

That escalated REALLY quickly.

Updated at 11.26pm

COALITION TDs HAVE been talking up the latest CSO employment figures today.

Released shortly before midday, the Quarterly National Household Survey makes for generally positive reading.

As Joan Burton notes…

I am very pleased to see that unemployment is now at 10.9%, the lowest level since March 2009.

“These numbers reflect the fact that the recovery is becoming established and sustained.  The unemployment rate has now dipped below 11% for the first time since March 2009.”

Statements using similar language have been rolling in from various other Labour and Fine Gael politicians — while some have also been taking to Twitter to tout the figures.


However, one graph put together by Fine Gael has come in for criticism.

The chart below was posted by Deputy Alan Farrell of Dublin North this evening…

Sure, it looks pretty — even if the lack of details means it gives us almost no insight whatsoever into the employment situation in the country…

It started to snowball from there… 

One Twitter user with a head for figures took Farrell to task for his lack of detail… 


Elsewhere on Twitter, others were also criticising the graphic… Today FM Political Correspondent Gavan Reilly (formerly of this parish) summed up the problem pretty well with this to-the-point Tweet… 


And the Fine Gael press office was pretty quick to come back with an explanation — stressing that the graph was automatically generated by the Central Statistics Office website, before it was transposed into the blue-and-white graphic….


Others chimed in, taking issue with the lack of detail…

And as Reilly pointed out… 


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As the debate progressed, the tone remained pretty genial… 


And eventually Reilly went to the trouble of doing up his own graph to illustrate his point… 



Over at Alan Farrell’s Twitter account, meanwhile — the Fine Gael deputy was taking a slightly less measured approach to criticism…


Update: The TD has been back on Twitter since we originally posted this article, shortly after 8pm. Several people had replied to his original offending tweet in the intervening hours, but the deputy chose not to engage with them.

He hasn’t responded to this person either… 

Read: TD who called Sinéad O’Connor ‘mad as a brush’ apologises

Read: The unemployment rate for August has actually been revised down

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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