It’s been over two weeks since I last posted anything about the census story. Apologies for that, there’s been a lot happening and I’ve been holding back somewhat. The next post will be about some recent media reporting about CACI and the Irish Census, but in the meantime, to fill in some of the blanks, I want to share this story with you.
First off though, I should mention that we are in the early stages of producing a documentary about this story and the larger issue of the role private companies play in the military industrial complex. As an apparently neutral country, Ireland has many links in this war machine. The obvious thing we will be looking at is the involvement of war contractors in censuses around the world and we will look at the bigger picture of war profiteering. We welcome any input you may have. (email mc AT itison DOT tv)
Now on to a comic tale…
As I mentioned in the last story, A1 and I took a trip up north which happened to mean we could avoid filling out the census. Enda Kenny reassured us of this idea in the video of the launch of Census 2011
“I think it’s important to note that it is only the recording of the people who are actually in the houses, in the residences, on that night that actually goes in here… So somebody gone to England or gone to America or gone to Belfast overnight is not counted…” – Taoiseach Enda Kenny (10th March 2011)
I made a comic book which I gave to our enumerator on our return and although he was reluctant to take it at first, as it was an absent form (Form E) I was told I was now legally obliged to sign, he did take it and it was eventually accepted by the CSO as proof that we were out of the country. I did not sign Form E.
I had spoken with Gerry Walker of the CSO on the phone the day before I learned from the enumerator that I didn’t have to fill in Form E and the comic would suffice. This conversation on Tuesday 26th April was off the record but it did provide me with some more insight into how the CSO will pursue prosecutions. Basically they will go after the “hard cases” whether or not you are taking a stand on human rights. The other thing is that the CSO, as Gerry informed me, will not be cooperating in this documentary and they will not accommodate us filming in Swords to investigate the security of the scanning system (for security reasons of course!). He also maintains in an email from the week before that the interview with Gerard Bradley, which gave the impression that the CSO were willing to be somewhat transparent, was recorded illegally. It was not.
“In regard to the conversation with Mr Bradley I would like to point out this conversation was illegally recorded without the permission of Mr Bradley and has been posted on the internet without the permission of this office. ” Gerry Walker CSO in an email to Mark O’ Cúlar 18 April 2011
I will go into more detail about this another time, but for now, here is that comic book that got us off the hook.