The Government’s plan to ban cell phones in all public places is facing fierce opposition from businesses and trade unions.
The Government’s plans to ban all new and existing cell phones from all public buildings, including schools, parks, hospitals, cinemas and the Gaeltacht are already controversial with unions and businesses threatening to walk out if the plans go ahead.
Labour, the Greens and a cross-party group of cross-benchers are pushing the Government to consider banning all new or existing cell phone use from the public square.
In a letter to Minister for Transport, Simon Coveney, the National Farmers Union and the Ulster Farmers Federation said the ban would be “unnecessary and counterproductive”.
“There are already over 300,000 mobile phone users in Ireland, of whom some are elderly people with dementia, with no need to be in touch with anyone, with very few exceptions,” said the letter.
We are not arguing for a ban because we have no need for a cell phone in our lives. “
In addition to the cost of these devices to society, they are not a security feature.”
We are not arguing for a ban because we have no need for a cell phone in our lives.
But a ban on new or used phones will only exacerbate the situation and make it harder for families to get on and off the streets.
“”It would also be an expensive imposition and would put an economic strain on the economy, putting a further strain on public services and on the health system.
“The unions, who have been campaigning for a longer ban on all new cell phones than is currently in place, have said the Government is proposing a ban that will cost billions of pounds.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Communications Simon Colyer have argued that they will not have to impose a ban and they would be unable to enforce it.
But the unions have warned that a ban would cost thousands of jobs.
Union President Michael O’Mahony told RTÉ’s Six One News that it would be a “complete and utter failure” to enforce the ban.
He said that the unions will continue to fight for the ban to be lifted.
However, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Leo Varadkar, has rejected the unions’ call for a “pause” on new cell phone bans.”
It’s completely pointless,” Mr Varadki said.
Mr Varadkary said that his Department is working on plans to allow people to continue using their phones in public places, but he has said he would not impose a moratorium on new mobile phone bans in his country.