The South Tipp TD appointed to investigate cyber bullying has been told to step down from the job because of the role he played in a prank phone call.
The victim of the pizza prank phone call, Deputy Mattie McGrath. has called on Deputy Tom Hayes to have the ‘decency’ to vacate the post and said the South Tipp Fine Gael TD had no credibility to carry out such a job.
This week Deputy Hayes declined to comment on the statement made by Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath said Enda Kenny should force Deputy Hayes to resign as Chairman of the Transport and Communications Dail Committee because he had been involved in the group of TDs that played the prank on him as he was supporting a family conducting a sit in at a bank in Dublin on the eve of the budget.
“After pulling that prank he has a brass neck to stay on in that job” insisted Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was a victim of ‘Pizzagate’, as it has come to be known since the story of the prank broke.
It took place when the South Tipp deputy was part of a sit-in at a Friends First Dublin bank, in support of a farming family.
The five TDs, including Deputy McGrath’s constituency colleague Tom Hayes TD, rang the independent TD pretending to be from a pizza takeaway restaurant and said they too didn’t like the banks and so would send him food.
“Deputy Hayes was involved in that prank which was designed to set me up for ridicule, cyber bullying is used for that and worse and Deputy Hayes should at least have the decency to walk from that job now.
He has never apologised to me for what happened. How can a man involved in such a stunt investigate cyber bullying and draw up measures to combat it.
He is the last man in the country that should be entrusted with that responsibility,” said Deputy Hayes.
“Instead of playing this joke on me he should have been ringing up with his support for the cause I was involved with at the time.
What Deputy Hayes did at the time was designed to make a mockery out of me” said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath said Deputy Hayes should now be removed as Chairman of the Transport and Communications Dail Committee by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“I think Enda Kenny should now publicly acknowledge that Deputy Hayes can no longer continue as the person leading up the cyber bullying issues.
Deputy Hayes has no credibility at all. Enda |Kenny should now replace Tom Hayes and give somebody else the job,” said Deputy McGrath.
“It’s impossible to stop cyber bullying. President Obama and the CIA cannot do it because it is such a powerful force.
Appointing Tom Hayes to do it is akin to handing him a shovel and sending him out to the River Suir in Golden to start building the treatment plant that the government has promised but not delivered on,” said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath said it would be the ‘height of stupidity’ if the Dail Transport and Communication Committee was to begin its work on cyber bullying with Deputy Hayes at the helm.
“Who could take the work of this committee seriously.
Deputy Hayes would have some explaining to do to people assisting the committee with this task.I
t is just not possible for him to continue.If he does continue in the post the work of the committee will be called into question and its findings cannot be taken seriously ” said Deputy McGrath.