‘QUESTIONS Answered, Answers Questioned’ was a catchy past advertising slogan used by Independent Newspapers Plc in bygone years to great effect.
That slogan from my own long term former employer at Independent House duly drifted back to mind as the scant responses received from Horse Sport Ireland to The Irish Field press questions came across our desks yesterday afternoon (Friday). To say they were met with general disbelief from all the staff who read them when they landed in the door at the Irish Farm Centre HQ is probably the understatement of this rapidly closing year.
Myself and Judith duly submitted those questions on Wednesday, just before lunchtime as per the usual imposed deadline to HSI HQ after a near avalanche of sensitive information arising from confidential board issues to the private details of some named staff members - both past and present - hit the pages of some of the biggest sellers in the national newspaper market.
Serious questions to serious issues deserve serious answers. The answers The Irish Field received back are so woefully inadequate it beggars belief. HSI did not even give a straight answer as to whether Denis Duggan is still the CEO of Horse Sport Ireland!
Some years ago, one of the national newspapers sent a list of about 50 questions to the Health Service Executive (HSE) on pressing issues and when they received the same stock answer in response to all of them, they printed that sorry exchange across their front page. Suffice to say, things improved somewhat afterwards.
Now, more than ever, is the time for those at the helm of Horse Sport Ireland to show real leadership to our industry - a vibrant industry reeling from division and suspicion, amid confirmation of huge sums of money expended on seemingly endless legal issues at Horse Sport Ireland, including very considerable pay-outs to some former staff members.
Board information is gushing from the leaky seams of Horse Sport Ireland and no doubt there will be more to come on that front. However, it reached a new low when named HSI staff found themselves tossed into the fray by those persons, currently unknown, who chose to unleash the affected staff’s private work details in what are ongoing workplace difficulties. Zero thought ws given as to the effect that could have on their morale or indeed their future careers at the organisation or in this industry.
High time to press the ‘Reset Button’...