The Irish government has been slammed for paying journalists to write good news stories about Project Ireland 2040.
Unveiled by the government last week with a commitment to spend €116 billion, the document outlines plans to boost the Irish nation’s 4.7 million population by another million using mass migration.
The government’s strategic communications unit paid for sponsored “news pieces” to appear in national and regional newspapers promoting Ireland 2040, which “could not include negative or critical content”, The Times reported on Friday.
Speaking in the Irish parliament, or Dáil, opposition leader Micheál Martin branded the government’s use of the media to promote its scheme “ethically dubious”.
“The blurring of the lines is genuinely worrying from a parliamentary democracy point of view,” he said.
“The Taoiseach will say he is promoting the government, but the dogs on the street know he is using taxpayers’ money to promote Fine Gael politically.”
Project Ireland 2040 has been slammed on social media as a “pyramid scheme” to enrich investors by adding consumers at taxpayers’ expense, and as a globalist programme to “replace” the native population.
The government has also come under attack for plans to open a centre for 115 asylum seekers in a heritage town home to one of Ireland’s oldest traditional festivals.
Local media reports that on Friday a public meeting called to discuss the plans was attended by more than 100 concerned locals, many of whom argued the town of just 300 residents lacks the services needed to cater for so many new arrivals.
Mass migration from the third world has been a controversial topic in recent months, with reports that gangs of teenagers of African origin are terrorising locals across Dublin.
The criminal youths are “wreaking havoc” throughout the capital, according to police, who say the offences “[range] from shouting and intimidating old people in large groups to assaulting and robbing people of all ages, often with deadly weapons such as large knives.”
A source told the Irish Sun: “It’s not just vulnerable OAPs suffering here, innocent kids are afraid to go out and play. Gardai had to respond to one incident in Swords where a 14 year-old boy was stripped down to his pants at knife point on the street just so they could rob him and ridicule him at the same time, that’s what you’re dealing with here.”
Opposition Fianna Fail TD Jack Chambers said the behaviour of African gangs is a “major problem” that has left many of his constituents “living in fear” and “scared to leave their homes”.
Putting the gang members’ anti-social attitudes down to “cultural differences”, Independent Councillor Tony Murphy reported that police risk causing “a mini riot” any time they try to arrest one of the offenders.