Kenny says boo – Varadkar Coveney run away

 

By Anthony Sheridan

The liar Kenny said boo to the so-called rebels and they ran away. These are the cowards, Varadkar and Coveney, who believe they have what it takes to lead the country – Pathetic.

With Kenny back in charge and the McCabe corruption safely in tribunal deep-freeze for at least three or four years the way is clear for a full return to the political criminality that passes for democracy in Ireland.

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The cowards

 

Fergus Finlay: Hypocrite

 

By Anthony Sheridan

I genuinely felt like getting sick as I read Fergus Finlay’s ‘letter’ to Maurice McCabe in last Tuesday’s Irish Examiner. I have never read such a sickeningly patronising, grossly insulting attempt at excusing the diseased political/administrative system that has inflicted so much suffering and despair on the people of Ireland.

Before commenting on this disgraceful example of rank hypocrisy it will be useful to know something of Finlay’s background.

He is a loyal, unapologetic supporter of the rotten establishment that has destroyed our country, the same establishment that has destroyed the lives of Maurice McCabe and his family.

He is a loyal supporter of the Labour Party, the party that has been betraying Ireland and its people since, at least, 1992 when Dick Spring went into coalition with the criminal politician Haughey.

This was after Spring, having rightly accused Haughey of being ‘a cancer in the body politic’, promised the Irish people that he would remove the cancer of corruption. Fergus Finlay was a political advisor to Dick Spring when the decision to enter coalition with the corrupt Haughey was made.

This is the man who now has the gall to write a letter to Sgt. McCabe on behalf of the Irish people. This is a man operating under the delusion that Sgt. McCabe might be grateful for receiving some new insight into the nightmare that has consumed his life for nearly a decade.

Here’s a sample of the sickly, patronising waffle written by Finlay:

Dear Sgt. McCabe,

You deserve our gratitude.

You’ve more than earned your title of Sergeant, a title that has always earned respect in Ireland.

You’ve tried to do your job to the best of your ability.

We’ve seen how you and your wife and children have suffered.

You have spoken the truth to power…despite unbearable pressure, without flinching. You’ve tried to serve the interests of the public the best way you know how.

I sincerely hope that Maurice McCabe never gets to read this mush written by a man who is long on meaningless platitudes but zero on challenging the political corruption that is the ultimate source of Maurice McCabe’s horrific treatment.

Rank hypocrisy comes naturally to establishment figures like Finlay. This is crystal clear when we witness his nauseating defence of some of those responsible for McCabe’s nightmare.

Writing about the file that was used to destroy McCabe, Finlay is critical of the ‘system’ but not of those responsible – he writes:

The first instinct of some people (my emphasis) in the HSE is to cover up.

Having placed the blame on some vague, unidentified, unaccountable people in the HSE Finlay then strongly supports those who are actually responsible.

I have faith in the senior management of the HSE. I believe people like Tony O’Brien (Director General of HSE) have tried as hard as they could to change the culture of the organisation.

Finlay then goes on to defend Fred McBride, the CEO of Tusla, an organisation that, in a functional democracy, would be under immediate criminal investigation as a result of its actions/failures.

Fred McBride would not tolerate the sort of practice that permeates large bureaucratic systems.

So Finlay is suggesting to McCabe, the victim, that while ‘some people’ and ‘bureaucracy’ within these organisations are to blame the senior management are innocent bystanders deserving of sympathy.

Keep in mind that Finlay believes he is writing a personal/public letter of support and apology to the man whose life has been destroyed by these and other organisations.

Finlay ends his disgraceful article with a statement that bears no relationship whatsoever to the reality of how our country is misgoverned.

I believe that you will be vindicated Sgt. McCabe. I believe that justice will be done in the end and that we will know who did this.

Firstly, we already know exactly who did this – The corrupt political system that has infected agencies of the state like the HSE and the Garda Siochana is responsible.

Secondly, tribunals are nothing more than a mechanism created by our corrupt political system to sidetrack justice and accountability. This tribunal will be no different from any other. It will arrive at the same mealy-mouthed conclusion as Finlay does in his article – the system was to blame, bureaucracy was to blame – no individuals will be held to account, no justice will be done.

The depth of Finlay’s hypocrisy on this matter can be gauged by reading an article he wrote less than three months ago in which in lectured the people of Ireland for having the default position of demanding heads every time a controversy arose. It’s time we all got a grip of ourselves, he admonished; he goes on:

As for the rest of us, we need a break too, and some sense of proportion about all this stuff. “Off with their heads”, as the default response to every controversy — especially when it’s amplified a thousand times by the poisonous side of social media — is not just wildly disproportionate, it’s killing the kind of public discourse we need.

 

And here’s what he had to say about Garda Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan, the individual at the heart of Maurice McCabe’s nightmare.

Maybe her main crime is that she’s a woman in a macho world. Whatever it is, I hope she withstands the pressure. She’s a breath of fresh air — and could do a lot more if she was given a break

I wonder if Finlay were to meet Maurice McCabe would he have to courage to say to his face – I think the Commissioner who has mistreated you so badly is a breath of fresh air, that she could do a lot more if only she was given a break.

Somehow I doubt it.

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Fergus Finlay

Irish journalism: Suffering from a serious malaise

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By Anthony Sheridan

 

A well-informed, objective media is one of the cornerstones of a healthy democracy. Journalists in a healthy democracy do not just report news and current affairs; they also have a duty to be rigidly impartial in their analysis of events.

Disturbingly, Irish journalism comes nowhere near the standards necessary to robustly challenge the State and its agents particularly when it comes to political corruption.

The recent publication of Hell at the Gates by journalists John Lee and Daniel McConnell is just the latest example of the disquietingly close and frequently grovelling relationship between the media and those who wield power within the Irish political system.

John Lee, writing about an interview he conducted with former Taoiseach Brian Cowen as part of his research for the book provides us with a good example of this cringing, extremely deferential type of journalism.

The (Irish Mail on Sunday) article is not available online so I have reproduced it in full below.

The headline gives a good indication of the tone of the article:

An astute, self-aware, intelligent man

Before making further comment on the article I want to express my opinion of Brian Cowen, an opinion that I believe is held by the majority of Irish people.

At best, Cowen is a political idiot. I do not say this as an insult (although it obviously is); I say it because it’s a simple fact. Cowen is nothing more than your typical Fianna Fail backwoodsman, gombeen politician who never had to do anything courageous or visionary to reach the apex of political power.

As a privileged member of one of the many political family dynasties that have plagued Irish politics since independence he was effectively handed power following the death of his father.

He was literally enthroned as Taoiseach by the disgraced Bertie Ahern who was forced to resign after his true pedigree was exposed at a tribunal.

But when Cowen, for the first and only occasion in his mediocre career, was called upon to show courage and vision in leading the nation he failed miserably.

As one editorial put it:

The worst Taoiseach in the history of the State.

And yet a stranger reading John Lee’s article could easily conclude that Brian Cowen was a politically intelligent, insightful and courageous man whose overriding mission in life was to promote the best interests of the Irish people.

A stranger reading the article would not see what most Irish people see.

That Cowen is a loyal member of the most corrupt political party in Ireland, the party that promotes the interests of property developers, bankers and other members of the golden circle that feed off the wealth of the Irish people.

A stranger reading the article would not see that Cowen is a loyal member of the party principally responsible for the economic disaster of 2008 that destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens.

However, a stranger who informed himself of Irish history over the past several decades would immediately recognise the rampaging elephant in the room – which is:

The Irish political system is seriously corrupt. In reaction to this political corruption a significant percentage of Irish citizens have rejected the legitimacy of the State and are in open rebellion.

A disturbingly large proportion of Irish journalists are either blissfully unaware of this dramatic shift in the political landscape or are willing collaborators in defence of the corrupt system.

Either way Irish journalism is suffering from a serious malaise that is not only bad for the profession but is having a very serious negative impact on Ireland and its people.

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John Lee

Daniel McConnell

 

John Lee’s article – judge for yourself:

When Brian Cowen agreed to meet me for an interview for the book my colleague Daniel McConnell and I were writing, I didn’t really expect him to give anything away.

We sat on straight-back chairs at a table in a quiet corner of the Tullamore Court Hotel. I drank tea he drank mineral water. We discussed family (his brother Barry Cowen had been pivotal in securing the interview for me), mutual friends in politics, and a shared interest in golf.

When the iPhone recorder went on, he was ready. What followed was an insightful, forthright and considered summing up of his years at the top of Irish politics.

It’s said of Lyndon Johnson, that he was at his best with an audience of one. I think this applies to Cowen. He uses your first name, looks you in the eye, is exceptionally articulate and sharp. In the fog of war that engulfed Ireland during his years at the top, much of this was forgotten. Yet he understands why that is.

He spoke about how he felt the day he became Taoiseach, the enjoyment of appointing a cabinet and the brief summer of calm before all hell broke loose.

Bright man that he is, he knew there were claims about him that he had to confront. As the interview progressed I merely pointed to where we were in the chronology, and without pause he would take on the issues that he has been given so much time to think about over those preceding four years. He happily accepted he had made a mistake in not addressing the nation.

When we got to the incident at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway in 2010, dubbed Garglegate, Mr. Cowen was also ready. He’s been crucified for it, and knew exactly what had happened – and was happy to tell his version of it, which was by no means self-serving. I had been at the Ardilaun too, and the press only asked questions about the previous night’s social session because Simon Coveney had tweeted critical remarks about Mr. Cowen’s performance on Morning Ireland.

Mr. Cowen blames Coveney for that debacle. But he proceeded for almost 10 minutes (a long time in an interview like this) to discuss his PR failures.

He revealed himself to an astute, self-aware and intelligent man.

The great pity is, perhaps, that when he was in charge he couldn’t find a way to reveal more of this side of himself to the Irish public.

 

Hell at the Gates: A propaganda exercise

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

The first step in rewriting the history of Ireland’s political and economic collapse has been taken with the publication of Hell at the Gates by journalists Daniel McConnell and John Lee.

John Lee is political editor at the Mail on Sunday.  Daniel McConnell is political editor of the Irish Examiner.

If we are to judge by the long extracts from the book (6, 472 words) published in the Irish Examiner the rewriting has just one aim – to create a lie that the corrupt political system that destroyed our country is completely innocent of any blame for the catastrophe.

An editorial in the same issue backs up the book’s rewriting of history by attacking ordinary citizens for having the gall to demand a restoration of their pay scales that were so ruthlessly cut by the corrupt ruling elite.

Our enthusiastic, lemming-like demands for the restoration of indulgences funded by borrowing that led to the loss of our economic sovereignty less than a decade ago.

So according to this writer (I wonder who?) corrupt politicians, bankers, property developers and so-called regulators had nothing to do with the country’s downfall, it was all down to the peasants losing the run of themselves.

At first impression this book appears to be nothing more than a disgraceful propaganda exercise.

I will be analysing the publication in greater detail in the near future.

 

The people now know what you are Mr. Ross

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

For decades Shane Ross has campaigned against political corruption. Here he is angrily attacking the system over the (corrupt) political appointment of judges.

Now what does that tell you about the system here? It tells me one thing, that you’re as bad as the ones that came before you…

What I see here today is you and your senior cabinet colleagues putting up some sort of a smokescreen but basically what you’re trying to do is defend the (corrupt) system as it always has been.

Ross was elected to challenge the corrupt political system. His decision to support the Government’s Apple appeal has betrayed that trust.

His once in a lifetime opportunity to do real damage to the corrupt system that he has fought against for so long – has evaporated.

He is now just another gombeen politician who will support the corrupt system until the people throw him out.

His betrayal is copper-fastened by his abandonment of the passionate, angry and articulate attacks on the system (as quoted above) to be replaced by the standard gombeen language of insulting, patronising platitudes.

I’m very, very keen from now on that multinationals should be seen to be paying their fair share of tax.

The people now know Mr. Ross that you too are as bad as the ones who came before you.

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Shane Ross

Independents must decide: The people or the corrupt political system

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

Despair and extreme anger over the level of political corruption is the only reason Katherine Zappone and members of the Independence Alliance were elected to public office.

They now hold power within that corrupt political system and are facing the exact same dilemma that other political entities faced in the past – to support the corrupt system or to challenge its power and fight to bring it down.

The Progressive Democrats under Des O’Malley and Mary Harney promised the Irish people that they would rid our country of political corruption – They lied and were removed from power by the people.

Labour under Dick Spring promised the Irish people that he would rid our country of political corruption – He lied and was removed from power by the people.

The Green Party under John Gormley promised the Irish people that he would rid our country of political corruption – He lied and was removed from power by the people.

Labour under Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton promised the Irish people that they would rid our country of political corruption – They lied and were removed from power by the people.

Now Katherine Zappone and members of the Independence Alliance have to make the same decision – the people or the corrupt political system.

If they fail to support the people they too will be removed from power and the fight will go on to rid our country of the disease of political corruption.

Ultimately, the people will win.

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Katherine Zappone

Independent Alliance

 

Principle of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ does not apply universally in Ireland

 

guilty-until-proven-innocent

 

By Anthony Sheridan

There seems to be a great deal of worry amongst Irish establishment figures that the Brazilians may not grant Pat Hickey the protection of the almost universal principle of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’.

Here’s former CEO of the FAI Fran Rooney on RTE yesterday.

It’s a real concern that the men’s presumption of innocence is being ignored… the whole presumption of innocence is a key issue here.

In light of the above comments it will no doubt come as a great shock to barrister Fran Rooney to learn that the ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ principle does not apply universally in Ireland.

It will come as an even greater shock to anxious establishment figures like Rooney to learn that the principal was abandoned to protect the multi-million Euro Mass card monopoly enjoyed by the Catholic Church.

Any Irish citizen who sells (even one) a Mass card without the express permission of a Catholic bishop is guilty of an offence which may result in a ten year prison sentence and/or a fine of €300,000.

This law is even more draconian than that enacted to combat ruthless drug lords. If (Catholic) Brazilian politicians were to enact such a law Irish establishment figures like Ryan Tubridy, for example, would be choking on their breakfast cereal.

To copper-fasten the law and ensure no citizen dares challenge the financial interests of the Catholic Church Irish politicians inserted the following section into the Charities Act 2009:

Section 99:

(2): In proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities, that the sale of the Mass card to which the alleged offence relates was not done pursuant to an arrangement with a recognised person.

So there you have it – in Irish legislation – in black and white – Guilty unless you can prove you are innocent.

Shane Ross: Breaking the rules of his own political class

 

 

austerity

By Anthony Sheridan

The first rule of Irish mainstream media when it comes to corruption is – under no circumstances whatsoever should the issue be actually addressed, analysed or even mentioned.

So we had the usual conservative pro-establishment packed panel on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday discussing the Olympic ticket corruption scandal.

But, sticking strictly to the rule, the issued of corruption was completely ignored as the panel focused on attacking the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross over his handling of the scandal.

The reason for such attacks on Ross is clear. Although he is an establishment insider himself, he has been breaking another golden rule of the ruling elite – he actually investigates and reports on the rampant corruption within his own political/media class.

This is an unforgiveable sin and attracts vicious rants laced with lies from people like former Labour minister for State Aodhan O’Riordan.

The issue here is that anybody who shared the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with Shane Ross over the last five years know exactly the way he operates. There is no reputation that he is not happy to have a complete go at in order to get five minutes publicity out of, this is the way he has operated for a long time.

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Marian Finucane Show

Aodhan O’Riordan

Shane Ross

Minister Donovan: A political moron

 

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By Anthony Sheridan

Every Irish politician has a simple decision to make when speaking about allegations of corruption.
Speak the truth or sacrifice self-respect by assuming that Irish citizens are idiots.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick Donovan chose to assume that Irish citizens are idiots in this interview about the Olympic ticket scandal.
RTE Presenter Richard Crowley: Have you got the facts yet? (A week after the scandal broke).
Donovan: No, we still don’t know what happened. That’s why I asked senior officials in the Dept to write to the Olympic Council of Ireland to seek clarification.
Crowley: What can you tell us about the number of tickets seized by the Brazilian police?
Donovan: I don’t have the exact details. I wouldn’t like to comment on the case specifically.
This is the standard bullshit we get from moronic Irish politicians – I can’t make comment as it might prejudice a court case.
Crowley: Can you tell us how many tickets the international authorities allocate to Ireland?
Donovan: Well this is something we’re also trying to find out.
Any minister for sport who does not know this basic information is a moron.
Crowley: Have the Olympic Council of Ireland not told you that yet?
Donovan: No, what we’ve done is, we’ve written to the Olympic Council of Ireland….blah, blah, blah.
Crowley: Did the Minister (Shane Ross) not ask about these things?
Donovan: I presume he’s trying to establish an open line of communication between the Olympic Council and the Dept which is important because of the reputational damage….blah, blah, blah.
A week after the scandal broke and the moron expects us to believe that he, his senior minister Shane Ross and his Dept. are still trying to establish communications between the Dept. and the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Crowley: But we’re ten days into this and you don’t even have the basic information.
Donovan: No, and the reason we don’t have the basic information is the way investigations are operated in Brazil is different to how they operate in Ireland.
The moron seems to be suggesting that the Brazilians are somehow incompetent when it comes to investigating criminality when in fact it is Irish authorities that are incompetent/corrupt when it comes to investigating these kinds of scandals.
Crowley: You could get this information yourself directly from the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Donovan: That’s why we’ve written to the Olympic Council.
And so, we’re back to writing letters again.  
Crowley: More than a week after the scandal broke?
Donovan: Well in the first instance Richard I was there when the scandal broke and I reacted on behalf of the Government in Rio to what was happening…blah, blah, blah.
The moron did nothing.
Crowley: An inquiry by the Olympic Council of Ireland is entirely unsatisfactory. Can you force them to put an independent person on the inquiry team?
Donovan: No, we can’t but….reputation of Ireland Inc…blah, blah, blah.
Crowley: Is there room for an independent judicial inquiry?
Donovan: It’s too early to say. I was a member of the Oireachtas Committee that looked in detail at the London games…blah, blah, blah.
Just two years ago there were serious problems with the allocation of tickets for the FIFA World Cup held in Brazil
The brazilians, also worried about their country’s reputation, took immediate action that resulted in strict laws governing the allocation of tickets for major events. It was under this law that the Irish corruption was exposed.
To sum up the moron:
I know nothing.
I’m saying nothing

I’ll treat treat Irish citizens like idiots because I don’t have to courage to speak the truth.

I’m waiting for the postman to bring answers – any day now.
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Donovan