Garda corruption: the stripped down truth

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

And so the usual avalanche of meaningless, naïve and uninformed analysis is upon us in response to the latest scandal – the sacking of yet another Garda Commissioner. Yes, she was sacked, there are many ways to sack a person without actually seeming to do so.

So for those who wish to bypass all the utter bullshit that will be spewed out over the coming weeks in response to this latest episode of police/political corruption – here’s the stripped down truth.

Our police force is an irredeemably corrupt organisation. It will never be reformed from the inside because to do so would mean having to retire, fire and prosecute hundreds if not thousands of police officers.

Real reform would also mean establishing a truly independent police force that would see the severing of the corrupt nexus between the force and the corrupt political system principally made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

A politically independent police force would mean corrupt politicians would find themselves under regular investigation for their criminal activities.

A politically independent police force would see, for the first time in our history, bankers, property developers, members of the legal profession, civil servants, so-called regulators, judges and even police officers regularly facing justice before the courts.

A politically independent police force will never become a reality until the corrupt political system is first removed from power.

All other talk/analysis surrounding this issue should be treated for what it is – utter bullshit.

Daniel McConnell: Happy to wear establishment blinkers

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

Establishment/Irish Examiner journalist Daniel McConnell tweeted the following in response to the Irish Water debacle in Louth and Meath.

It is amazing how quiet the anti-water charge brigade have been the past few days with events in Louth and Meath.

What’s really amazing is the apparent ignorance of journalists like McConnell when it comes to understanding the real, underlying reason for the rebellion against water charges.

Journalists such as McConnell are apparently incapable of going beyond the economic collapse of 2008 when analysing the on-going, historic changes in the political landscape.

They appear to be completely unaware that the water charges campaign has little to do with water and everything to do with the dramatic and continuing collapse of the old corrupt political regime made up principally of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the now almost extinct Labour Party.

Since the 1992 election when Dick Spring reneged on his promise to rid Irish politics of the disease of corruption by joining forces with the criminal politician Haughey, the Irish people have been progressively losing faith in, not just the political system, but the State itself.

This undeniable and obvious rejection of the old regime is there to see in election results for all those not wearing establishment blinkers.

Those wearing blinkers such as McConnell appear happy to analyse the political scene under the simplistic and insulting (to citizens) idea that it’s all down to an ignorant people, angry with austerity, being led astray by evil Trotskyists.

Copy to:

Daniel McConnell

 

State failing in its duty to enforce law

 

By Anthony Sheridan

The following very serious allegations of criminal activity emerged during the recent Sean Fitzpatrick trial.

The deliberate destruction of evidence.

The coaching of witnesses.

The altering of witness statements.

The former solicitor for the Office of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), Mr. Kevin O’Connell has admitted that he destroyed evidence.

It has been accepted by the current Director of ODCE, Mr. Ian Drennan, that senior members of his staff participated in the coaching of witnesses and the altering of witness statements. It has also been acknowledged that the former Director of ODCE, Mr. Paul Appleby was involved in some of these activities.

The following three facts also emerged during the Sean Fitzpatrick trial.

One: That Garda Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, head of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau was aware that solicitor with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), Mr. Kevin O’Connell, had admitted in sworn evidence that he had destroyed documents relevant to the criminal proceedings against Sean Fitzpatrick.

Two: That Supt. Lordan, after discussing the alleged crime with a colleague deemed it was not necessary to launch a Garda investigation.

Three: That the whole issue (the destruction of evidence) was outlined to Judge Mary Ellen Ring and she did not indicate that any issue should be raised with the Garda.

To my knowledge Garda officers do not have the power to decide whether or not an alleged crime should or should not be investigated. To my knowledge such decisions come strictly within the remit of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is deeply disturbing that a judge, on being informed that evidence in a criminal trial had been deliberately destroyed, would not instruct the Gardai to investigate the matter.

It seems clear to me that the law enforcement agencies of the State are failing to act in an appropriate manner in response to the alleged crimes as outlined above.

With that in mind I have submitted the following complaints:

One:

Formal complaint submitted to Cobh Gardai on 10 July concerning the alleged crimes of ODCE solicitor Mr. Kevin O’Connell and other staff members of the ODCE.

Formal Complaint

I wish to formally report the following allegations of criminal activity that emerged during the course of the trial of the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean Fitzpatrick.

One: That the former solicitor for the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), Mr. Kevin O’Connell, contrary to law, deliberately destroyed documents that were relevant evidence in a criminal trial.

Two: That, contrary to law, witnesses were coached and statements altered by Mr. O’Connell and other senior civilian ODCE staff which resulted in the contamination of evidence.

Both of the above allegations have been accepted as true by Mr. O’Connell and the Director of ODCE, Ian Drennan.

(See attached ODCE press release).

Signed……………………………………………………………………

Anthony Sheridan

Two:

Formal complaint submitted to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) against Chief Supt. Lordan concerning his decision not to investigate the destruction of evidence in a criminal trial.

11 July 2017

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find complaint against Garda Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, head of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, for failing to properly carry out his duty on coming into possession of significant evidence of criminal activity.

This complaint is based on a report in the Irish Times dated 23 May 2017 reporting on the trial of former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Mr. Sean Fitzpatrick (The full report is included below).

Specifically, the complaint is based on the following facts arising in the report.

One:  That Chief superintendent Lordan was aware that solicitor with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), Mr. Kevin O’Connell, had admitted in sworn evidence that he had destroyed documents relevant to the criminal proceedings against Sean Fitzpatrick.

Two:  That Chief Superintendent Lordan wrongly took it upon himself not to investigate the illegal destruction of said documents.

Signed……………………………..

Anthony Sheridan

Note:  It was my intention to make a formal complaint against Judge Mary Ellen Ring for her failure to act on being informed about the destruction of evidence.  Unfortunately, it seems there is no authority in Ireland to which citizens can make complaints regarding the actions of judges.

Copy to:

ODCE

Dept. of jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Media

 

 

Elaine Byrne/Fergus Finlay: Afraid to condemn their own?

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

Corruption expert Elaine Byrne is correct to criticise members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for their sometimes over-robust comments regarding the Garda Commissioner’s evidence in front of the Committee (Sunday Business Post, 25 June).

But I suspect Ms. Byrne, in common with all establishment journalists, is using the relatively minor issue of comment-happy politicians to avoid facing the brutal reality of police corruption. For nearly twenty years now, beginning with the Donegal scandal, we have witnessed an avalanche of police corruption.

The single most obvious observation regarding this constant stream of corruption within the force is the complete lack of accountability.

No charges, no court cases, no jail time. This is the norm in a dysfunctional democracy like Ireland.

The current Garda Commissioner, Norin O’Sullivan, is continuing this dishonourable and disgraceful tradition of circling the wagons to, effectively, protect the corrupt at the expense of democracy and the interests of the Irish people.

In a functional democracy Ms. O’Sullivan would have been sacked long ago and, in all likelihood, find herself under criminal investigation.

And as I mentioned above, Ms. Byrne is not the only journalist/opinion maker with a disturbing tendency to focus on the irrelevant in order to avoid confronting the disease of corruption that’s rampant among the upper echelons of Irish society.

Fergus Finlay, an uncompromising, loyal supporter of the establishment, has worn his fingers to the bone battering out article after article on his keyboard in response to the never-ending stream of corruption scandals that have caused so much suffering and damage to Ireland and its people.

Yet, much like Ms. Byrne, Finlay never, ever actually identifies the source of corruption in Ireland – the mainstream political system principally made up of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour.

Indeed, in a recent article Mr. Finlay went out of his way to clearly state that the political system is not corrupt. After nearly wringing his hands off in anguish over the State’s continuing failure to deal with poverty, hunger and abuse of children Finlay absolves the politicians and places the blame firmly with the royal ‘we’.

These things have happened because of the choices we’ve made.

And in case ‘we’ haven’t got the message Finlay hammers it home by dismissing recent political scandals such as that involving Marie Whelan, Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Shane Ross as pathetic parochial pettifogging.

Apparently, there is no connection between political shenanigans (corruption in functional democracies) and the suffering and injustices inflicted on the vulnerable, according to Finlay.

In 20 years’ time, none of those pathetic parochial pettifogging political issues will matter a damn. They don’t matter a damn now.

He goes on:

The Government made a hames of it and the opposition and media are making a meal of it. But that’s all it is — no corruption, no crime, no illegality. Just stupid political mismanagement, made worse as usual because no-one can admit a mistake.

No corruption, no crime, no illegality – just some (innocent) political mismanagement.

This seems to be the rallying cry for establishment journalists like Byrne and Finlay when it comes to defending our corrupt political system.

They simply refuse to acknowledge that (Political) corruption is rampant, (white-collar) crime is rampant and illegality is rampant throughout the upper echelons’ of Irish society.

It is not, I suspect, that they are unaware of the brutal truth but rather that they don’t have the courage to condemn their own.

Copy to:

Elaine Byrne

Note:

It has always been my practice to send a copy of articles I write to those I criticise. Recently however, Mr. Finlay finally lost patience with reading my analysis of his views and angrily blocked me from his twitter account. He had no need to block me; a simple request to desist from sending my articles would have been sufficient.

Here’s the article that so angered Mr. Finlay.

 

 

RTE: Blatant censorship and manipulation of news

 

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

RTE continues its alarming lurch from the status of national broadcaster to that of a broadcaster servile to the requirements and defence of politicians and other powerful figures in Irish society.

The station’s disgraceful coverage of the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial is just the latest example of this disturbing trend.

I have submitted the following complaint to RTE in response to this latest failure to properly act according to its mandate.

 

 

To Whom It May Concern:

Please find formal complaint regarding the manipulation and censorship of news by RTE in its coverage of the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial.

Background: There are three reasons why the collapse of this trial constitutes a major news event of national importance:

One: Sean Fitzpatrick was central to the creation of Anglo Irish Bank, a bank whose collapse cost the taxpayer €35 billion and played a significant role in the economic catastrophe that has destroyed the lives of countless thousands of Irish citizens since 2008.

The collapse of Anglo Irish Bank and the ensuing economic collapse resulted in the forced emigration of 300,000, mostly young, Irish citizens. Mass unemployment coupled with massive loss of personal wealth particularly in housing, savings and pensions.

Widespread despair and loss of confidence in the future, a factor that contributed to hundreds of suicides. A very serious and dangerous loss of faith in the political system coupled with a serious loss of faith in the professionalism and objectivity of state agencies particularly those charged with regulation.

A heightened and justified suspicion regarding the standards of professional and objective balance of media outlets and in particular the balance and objectivity of the national broadcaster, RTE.

Two: The trial of Mr. Fitzpatrick was the longest and most important criminal trial in the history of the state. Even if this trial were a standard trial with none of the consequences listed above it would still warrant serious, in-depth analysis and coverage particularly by RTE which has an obligation to provide such coverage.

Three: The failings of the Office of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) that were the direct cause of the collapse of the trial raises extremely serious questions regarding the procedures, professionalism and honesty of those responsible for investigating such cases. These failings are in and of themselves grounds for major news coverage coupled with professional, in-depth and rigorous questioning by RTE of all the parties involved.

RTEs Public Service Statement outlines the broadcaster’s obligation:

Providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of Irish and international politics and public affairs and contributing to an informed citizenship.

RTE failed in its obligation to properly report, explain and analyse the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial.

This complaint is composed of two parts.

ONE: The editorial decision taken by RTE management to prohibit any reference whatsoever to the story on the news and current affairs programme, The Late Debate.

TWO: The minimalist and carefully choreographed management of the story across all of RTEs flagship news and current affairs programmes.

The Late Debate:

The Late Debate is one of RTEs flagship news and current affairs programmes. The programme is described on its website as follows:

Cormac Ó hEadhra presents live debate and analysis of all the news and political stories of the day, including coverage of today’s events in the Oireachtas

The show is broadcast on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of every week and, as the above description indicates, covers all the news and political stories of the day.

This did not happen in response to the collapse of the Fitzpatrick trial.

On Tuesday 23 May the dramatic and highly newsworthy collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial occurred but RTE, for whatever reason, prohibited any mention of the story on The Late Debate.

On Wednesday 24 May, despite universal coverage and analysis across all other media outlets, RTE, for whatever reason, prohibited any mention of the story on The Late Debate.

On Thursday 25 May, despite continuing widespread coverage and analysis across all other media outlets, continuous reaction from politicians, press editorials and opinion makers, RTE for whatever reason, prohibited any mention of the story on The Late Debate.

I use the word ‘prohibited’ here for the following reasons:

The singular fact that such an important and immediately current news story was not discussed in any manner or form strongly suggests news manipulation. The total silence of the presenter and the numerous politicians and journalists who participated in discussion over the three-day period adds weight to the charge of news manipulation.

Even if a story is unlisted for coverage it is common practice for RTE presenters to ask questions and request opinion from panel members regarding recent or breaking stories. Over the three day period, despite the massive background presence of this major news story, the presenter of the programme Cormac Ó hEadhra made no reference whatsoever to the scandal. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that Mr. Ó hEadhra was acting under instructions from a higher authority.

On the three nights in question, politicians and journalists formed part of the discussion panels. Despite the massive background presence of this major news story no politician or journalist made any reference whatsoever to the issue. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that all panel members were acting under instructions from RTE management to remain silent on the issue.

The minimalist and carefully choreographed management of the story across all of RTEs flagship news and current affairs programmes during the three days of 23/24/25 May.

RTE made no effort whatsoever to interrogate or challenge government ministers, government officials or, most critically, officials from the ODCE in response to this major scandal.

A brief summary of RTEs coverage between 23 May when the story broke to 25 May when the story was effectively killed off by RTE clearly exposes RTEs minimalist strategy in covering this scandal.

23/24 May – Drivetime: Less than 30 minutes coverage over the two days consisting of short reports by RTE journalist Orla O’Donnell and a brief interview with Sunday Business Post journalist Tom Lyons.

No government ministers, no government officials, no ODCE officials questioned. No in-depth analysis, no hard questions.

Six One News and Nine News: Standard news reports on the collapse of the trial coupled with cosy chats between RTE journalists principally focusing on the judges decision and lack of resources for the ODCE.

No government ministers, no government officials, no ODCE officials questioned. No in-depth analysis, no hard questions.

23 May – Prime Time: Yet another report on the background of Sean Fitzpatrick and Anglo Irish Bank followed by a cosy chat between RTE journalist and a journalist from Independent News and Media.

No government ministers, no government officials, no ODCE officials questioned. No in-depth analysis, no hard questions.

24 May – Morning Ireland: A brief six minute interview with Roisin Shortall of the Social Democrats raising questions in relation to the part played by the ODCE in the scandal. This was the one and only reference to the scandal by Morning Ireland.

This virtual news blackout by one of RTEs most listened to current affairs programmes is in itself a blatant and disgraceful manipulation of news.

27 May – Saturday with Claire Byrne: The collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial was not discussed in any shape or form on this programme.

The disgraceful failure to discuss the scandal on this programme amounts to nothing less than news censorship that benefitted the interests of politicians and other powerful people while damaging the interests of the Irish people and the professional reputation of RTE as an objective broadcaster.

28 May – The Week in Politics: Brief discussion between minor politicians on the scandal.

No government ministers, no government officials, no ODCE officials questioned. No in-depth analysis, no hard questions.

It is not a defence to claim that adequate news coverage of the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial was impossible because of the parallel terrorist attack in Manchester. Many other stories of much less importance than that of the trial collapse received ongoing coverage. For example, the Fine Gael leadership campaign continued to receive wall-to-wall coverage and priority over all other stories.

RTEs policy of employing it’s own journalists to chat with each other in response to major scandals is lazy and unprofessional journalism.

There is also a growing suspicion among listeners and viewers that the policy is a deliberate strategy designed to protect politicians and other powerful people from being made accountable.

The abject failure of RTE to provide in-depth and robust coverage of the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial is just the latest example of the station’s alarming drift from the status of national broadcaster to that of servile government broadcaster.

 

Copy to:

RTE Complaints

RTE Director General

All RTE journalists involved in the story

In the event of a terrorist attack…in Ireland

 

By Anthony Sheridan

Following recent terrorist attacks in the UK there has been a great deal of discussion about how prepared Irish security agencies are in the event of a similar attack here.

Here’s what will happen in the event of an attack.

Police Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan will immediately declare that the attack is a legacy issue as it occurred in the past and, as she is operating in the present, it has absolutely nothing to do with her. However, she will reassure everybody that as soon as she finds her phone she’ll report the matter…to somebody.

Taoiseach in waiting Leo Varadkar will courageously take time out from planning his latest strategy to bring welfare cheats to justice to express full confidence in O’Sullivan’s determination to continue monitoring the activities of Sinn Fein and water protesters.

The establishment media will suspend their propaganda campaigns against Sinn Fein and left wing parties and engage in a massive talk-in among themselves on how best to ignore the new reality and return to their comfortable bubble of irrelevant self-importance.

The Government will appoint an exhumed judge, all retired judges being currently busy, to conduct a tribunal of inquiry into the attack and thereafter refuse to answer any questions in case it would prejudice the outcome.

The Government Press Office will issue a statement expressing confidence that the Garda Rapid Response Unit will arrive at the scene before the tribunal issues its final report.

Gardai under pressure from PAC

 

By Anthony Sheridan

I’ve just been listening to the special sitting of the Public Accounts Committee (Room 3) investigating the scandal surrounding financial irregularities at the Garda College in Templemore.

The atmosphere is more tense and more dramatic than any TV thriller.

Auditors and senior civil servants responsible for making sure the Gardai obey the law, just like the rest of us. are hanging each other out to dry in an increasingly desperate attempt to distance themselves from the overwhelming stench of corruption emanating from our by now hopelessly compromised police force.

I feel strange saying this but the chair of the committee, Fianna Fail TD, Sean Fleming, is doing a great job in getting answers from these very uncomfortable civil servants.

The Committee is on break at the moment but resumes action at 5 pm.

Well worth a listen for the drama and to witness just how rotten our police force and administrative system really is.

 

 

 

Fitzpatrick decision: A Banana Republic decision

 

By Anthony Sheridan

If I was an establishment judge and wanted to make a questionable and disgraceful decision that would damage my country and its people I would announce my decision the day after a major international act of terrorism.

If I was an establishment politician responsible for setting up a law enforcement agency with a mandate to bring white-collar criminals to justice but who were also friends of my political class I would ensure that the agency was starved of funds, starved of effective legislation and led by compliant staff who were willing to operate under political instruction.

 

Mattie McGrath TD: A dangerous ignoramus

 

 

By Anthony Sheridan

Independent TD Mattie McGrath is a dangerous ignoramus and is therefore unfit to serve as a public representative.

His condemnation of those who have objected to the handing over of the €300 million maternity hospital to the Sisters of Charity clearly and disgracefully displays his ignorance of the heinous crimes against humanity committed by the Catholic Church over many decades.

I think this row is a storm in a teacup. As far as I can see it’s a just a bash the nuns period in Ireland.

When I hear morons like McGrath make such ignorant comments I think of the depraved priest Fr. Reynolds who admitted to abusing more than twenty girls, one of which he raped by inserting a crucifix into her vagina and back passage.

Reynolds is just one of thousands of priest, nuns and brothers responsible for the holocaust of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church against children and adults.

It is the long history of heinous crimes against humanity by the Catholic Church that forms the basis for the widespread revulsion of the Government’s decision to hand over the proposed €300 million National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity.

But according to McGrath the almost universal horror in response to Government plans is nothing more than a storm in a teacup.

There can be only two reasons for McGrath’s extreme views and ignorance.

Either he hasn’t read any of the many reports of recent years outlining in disgusting detail the countless accounts of horrific abuse carried out by priests and nuns or he is aware of these reports but believes the current objections to the handing over of the hospital to the Catholic Church constitute a greater injustice than the decades of horror.

If McGrath has not read or sufficiently informed himself of the crimes committed by the Catholic Church then he is unfit to serve as a public representative.

If he is aware of the crimes but still believes, as he has stated, that the objections are actually outrageous sectarian attacks on the nuns, then it is reasonable to conclude that his natural morality has been seriously damaged by the warped morality of the Catholic Church.

Here’s an example of the brutal reality McGrath’s damaged morality refuses to see.

Extract from the Ryan Report:

One person described how they attempted to tell nuns they had been molested by an ambulance driver, only to be “stripped naked and whipped by four nuns to ‘get the devil out of you.”

Another described how they were removed from their bed and “made to walk around naked with other boys whilst brothers used their canes and flicked at their penis.”

Yet another was “tied to a cross and raped whilst others masturbated at the side.”

McGrath compounds his ignorance by supporting what I call the idiot’s myth regarding the running of hospitals by nuns. This idiot’s myth claims that if only the nuns were put back in charge of hospitals all the problems besetting the health service would instantly disappear.

Put in a couple of nuns with buckets and scrubbing brushes supervised by a matron with the mindset of a parade ground sergeant major and they would be performing open heart surgery before you could say – most Irish politicians are gombeen morons.

Here’s McGrath’s response when asked if religious orders should be taken out of the health service completely.

They are mainly out of it and we can see the bedlam. When we had matrons and sisters in charge of the hospitals, they were clean, they were efficiently ran, they weren’t over staffed with managers and they did a good job.

Here’s the reality that McGrath’s damaged morality is incapable of comprehending.

Extract from the Murphy Report:

The complainant alleged that the nun was complicit in the abuse on these occasions and that the nun herself participated in the abuse and watched it taking place. She alleged that she was gang-raped by three or four men in that house and that Fr. Cassius was one of the participants in the rape.

McGrath and ignorant politicians like him are unfit for public office.

Copy to:

McGrath