Former Environment minister Phil Hogan is a liar. We know this by simply looking at the facts surrounding the establishment of Irish Water.
When the €50 million consultancy fees scandal broke Hogan effectively denied he knew anything about the details.
He claimed he was merely aware of the overall cost.
It’s not my job, (it actually was his job) it’s a matter for Irish Water, I allow the professionals to get on with their job.
Junior Minister Fergus O’Dowd supported the Minister saying that neither he nor the minister were sent the information regarding the €50 million.
We now know that Hogan signed off on a document which outlined in great detail the costs involved in setting up Irish Water.
The document in question was signed by Hogan and bore the stamp – Seen and approved by the Minister.
Now this stamp/signature is very important. It exists to protect civil servants from being blamed for making decision without authority. It exists to prove that a Minister has read and is fully aware of very important details on any particular matter.
Some journalists have suggested that perhaps the Minister signed the document but didn’t actually read the details. This doesn’t wash.
Seen and approved by the Minister means he has read and approved the entire document.
He did therefore, by his own admission (his signature) read and approve the documents and was, by extension, fully aware of all its details.
In other words, Hogan micromanaged this issue right down to his signature.
His denial of this fact makes him a liar.
But in common with most politicians Hogan is not worried about any possible consequences. His arrogance overrides any such concerns and his arrogance is justified – there won’t be any consequences.
Neither is he alone in his lying. Lying is an ingrained part of Irish political culture. Lying during elections, lying to constituents about favours, lying under oath – all part of the gombeen culture that destroyed our country.