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Listeners up wall at Nolan plasterer jibe

By Staff Reporter

Published 20/08/2016

Criticism: Stephen Nolan
Criticism: Stephen Nolan

BBC Radio presenter Stephen Nolan took a pasting from a listener yesterday for questioning how a plasterer from the small Bannside village of Portglenone would know how a Stormont committee would work.

Leaked Twitter messages appeared to show how Daithi McKay and another SF member - Portglenone plasterer Thomas O'Hara - instructed Bryson on what to say for his submission to the finance committee's hearing on the Nama property scandal.

They included detailed messages on explaining the inner workings of a Stormont committee, with instructions to ensure Mr Bryson's testimony was as devastating as possible.

Mr McKay has resigned in the wake of the Bryson briefing affair.

And on Stephen Nolan's BBC Radio Ulster morning show yesterday, the presenter asked how Mr O'Hara could know in detail how a committee would work.

The award-winning broadcaster said: "There is a plasterer from Portglenone who had a detailed knowledge of how a finance committee works and would work in the future and that liaises with a loyalist.

"I'm suggesting there would not be a significant number of plasterers who would have that detail of knowledge of how a committee works.

"I'm not suggesting he is stupid.

"I don't think there would be too many journalists who would have detailed knowledge of how that finance committee works.

"There would not be too many, dentists, teachers, lawyers that would know.

"So, it is relevant to ask if it was really a plasterer from Portglenone who was communicating with Jamie Bryson?"

But his audience reacted negatively to the BBC star's comment

One caller, Martin, asked if the presenter would think it possible a plasterer from Portglenone - or anywhere - would know how a Stormont finance committee works.

Nolan responded: "Of course it is possible. But not many would."

Others took to social media to vent their anger.

"Don't know O'Hara in SF but for Nolan to infer he's not able to give advice to anyone coz he's a plasterer is insulting" Tweeted Padraic Mac Coitir, while GAA fan MD said: "Both Nolan and Seamus Close arrogantly dismiss that a plasterer from Portglenone, could have any political nous."

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