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Politics and Money Irish Style


Lowry Tapes led to raid by Revenue

THE Revenue Commissioners‘ raid on the home of independent TD Michael Lowry was a “direct result” of his statement in the Lowry Tapes that he “never declared” a sum read full article


 The number of complaints received by the ethics watchdog last year which related directly to Tipperary North TD Michael Lowry is 388


Not a bad old life for skint Quinlan on the Riviera, n’est-ce pas?

IF one were to liken the boom and the bust that followed to a game of musical chairs, former King Midas to Ireland’s great and good Derek Quinlan didn’t just grab a chair when the music read full article


Varadkar bid to prevent TDs abusing travel privileges fails

AN oIreachtas committee chaired by the Ceann Com-hairle Sean Barrett has rebuffed attempts by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to draw up guidelines to prevent TDs from abusing their tra read full article


With €2.5m debts plus tax arrears, what’s keeping Minister Perry?

PRESSURE mounted on junior minister John Perry to resign last night after it emerged that he will be highly unlikely to be able to pay off his €2.5m debts – even if he sold all of his a read full article


Jailings for not paying tiny fines up 25 per cent

THE number of people being sent to jail for failing to pay paltry court fines has soared by 25 per cent in just two years. read full article


Budget will be tough, Gilmore warns householders

HARD-pressed householders have been warned not to expect any respite from the forthcoming full article


Court clears way for people to sue individual bankers

A HIGH Court judge has cleared the way for aggrieved customers to initiate private criminal prosecutions against bank staff. read full article


Childers: Labour figures bullied me

INDEPENDENT MEP Nessa Childers, who resigned from the Labour Party last week, has sensationally claimed that she was subjected to a campaign of “overt bullying” by senior part read full article



Meetings of the council take place behind closed doors and no detailed record kept read full article

Is the Catholic Church’s hard line on abortion legislation an acceptance that its influence over the Irish state is over? « The Secular Society

Here are some interesting twists in the abortion debate in the Republic. As Michael Kelly of the Irish Catholic newspaper noted yesterday Armagh’s new-boy-to-be Eamonn Martin has been clear in ways his soon-to-be predecessor Sean Brady never was. As he also added, Rome will be pleased.And as Kelly rightly observes, polls can be wrong, especially if there is a referendum coming up: Nevertheless, the latest MRBI/IPOSOS poll on whether there should be legislation as opposed to guidelines is still pretty overwhelmingly in favour…Asked if they were for or against the heads of the Bill to legislate for the Supreme Court X judgment of 1992 permitting abortion where a mother’s life is in danger, 75 per cent said Yes, 14 per cent said No and 11 per cent had no opinion.Supporters of both Coalition parties were the strongest backers of the legislation with 79 per cent of Fine Gael voters favour; 78 per cent of Labour; 77 per cent of Sinn Féin and 74 per cent of Fianna Fáil supporters.People over 65 were the least enthusiastic about the legislation with 60 per cent in favour and 26 per cent against. The 25 to 34 age group was the most strongly in favour but there were large majorities across all age cohorts.The best-off social categories were strongest in support of legislation while farmers and the poorest DE social group were the least enthusiastic. The thing is that there won’t be a referendum on this issue. The referendum will be in the chamber, and this is where the church’s rather intemperate (not to mention very general) threat of ex communication was aimed. And it has caused a lot of difficulty. Micheal Martin had intended to march his party through on a whip, but was the first to relax and for the first time in his party’s history allowed his TDs have a free vote. We’ll see later on whether there are consequences to letting ‘soldiers of destiny’ have such a free hand. Meanwhile Enda Kenny, posing as the most unlikely secular hero in the history of the state is choosing the book of statute over the book of church law and in the process denying a party a free vote that’s been accustomed to having one in times past. The world turned upside down? Political insiders argue that the church could have chosen a more conciliatory line on the X case legislation. And that in alienating the political classes they may stand in future to have fewer allies when it comes to defending the real bulwark against abortion in the constitution if the current drift towards secularism continues: Article 40. 3. 3° The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right. That, the Church may calculate, may a price worth paying in order to save its own spiritual soul. There appears to be two way commerce going on here. In taking a much harder, fundamentalist line the Church is finding more coherence in its own moral arguments, whilst accepting, perhaps that its influence on matters of state in Ireland are long since over. With Thanks to Mick Fealty, via Is the Catholic Church’s hard line on abortion legislation an acceptance that its influence over the Irish state is over? « The Secular Society.

March Ireland- Jail the Bankers

  • Hello thanks so much for the invite to the page. I am living in the bog lands my whole life and these EU makey uppy laws are a crock. Thought you guys might like this event. Might be good time to get your messages seen on some placards. Its very frustrating how little people know about the bog. It could really help people realise what is happening.
    Keep up the good work!
    March 🙂

    400 people marched on Sat 29th June through Dublin and decided to call a follow up protest at the Dail while it sits on Weds night at 6pm.

    The Dail is open until 9pm on Weds.

    So tell everyone to get to the protest this Weds!
    we have 72 hours build up to this even if you are not free invite all your friends they might end up inviting someone who is free . its us or them what will you spend your time posting about ???


Irish News

Support for new party is growing, claims Ganley

A new political party which will contest local and European elections next year is now a real full article

Taxpayers lose millions in Enterprise Ireland failures

A state-of-the-art hub of innovation to hothouse start-ups and create tech clusters was the intention: a big white elephant was the reality. read full article

Guerrilla warfare between consumers and retailers triggers feel-bad factor

MAKING ends meet remains the key task facing many Irish households but it seems like a very long time since the main threat to their spending power was coming from spiralling prices. read full article

CIE, Ibec and the wall of silence

LAST week, I rang CIE in search of its chairman, Vivienne Jupp. I was told that the troubled transport company’s chief was not “due until next week”. read full article

TDs plot to force abortion poll vote

In a dramatic twist in the abortion debate, Fine Gael, Labour and independent TDs and senators are proposing to invoke a little-known constitutional provision to force a referendum on t read full article

Quinn Insurance sets €6.5m aside for litigation costs Irish Times The disastrous business, formerly owned by the now-bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn, has already received more than € 1 billion from the Insurance Compensation Fund to help it meet its losses, and expects to have to receive up to € 600 million more to 

Permanent revolution by facebook is replacing ideology

Why are demos and riots breaking out all over? It’s the economy stupid. But Newsnight’s Paul Mason has a contemporary twist, writing in the Independent to give a taster for his book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions’ Velocity of information matters as much as action itself. It is striking how badly…

read full article


Is Perry the worst Minister of State Ever?



John Perry TD for Sligo-North Leitrim and Minister of State for Small Business must be the worst appointment ever to a junior minister’s job.


Generally, this man only opens his mouth to change the foot he has wedged in there. When the two feet are not at home, he comes out with gems that do not inspire confidence… “There must be assistance for small businesses that are creating unemployment throughout the country”(Dáil speech).

Rest assured this man will do nothing concrete to stimulate the retail sector where approx 40,000 jobs have been lost in the past five years. Regretfully due to Government policies, many more localized jobs are uncertain due to the inactivity of this no-getter. Even so, then again, what can you expect from a man who cannot even get around to fixing the local potholes?

John the Promise in another open-mouthed gesture guaranteed the restoration of Breast cancer services to Sligo General hospital within 100 days of Government. During a live interview with Ocean FM concerning the return of cancer services to the North West of Ireland. Perry hung up the phone when questioned on his failure to deliver on his promise. He claimed that the presenter had an agenda against him. What a cringing cop out, what paucity of thought. Perhaps a taste of things to come – A true-blue arrogant fascist to the end.

I have just done this man a slight disservice for I understand he is a high flier when it comes to claiming the few bob.

For expenses in his first twelve months, this man topped the bill. Among his colleagues, he is known as the King of uncertified reimbursement.

In conclusion, what can one say about Perry? Maybe he is a bit like the invisible man. Could you pick him out from a line-up of expense villains? That folk is the story of Perry the obscure, invisible before the election and unseen after it just waiting for his Bisto pension.

It’s so Unfair -Luke Flanagan

It seems most of us weren’t very impressed with the handwringing of the Independent TD Luke “Ming” Flanagan, who seemed to be suggesting that in one of the instances of his quashed penalty points, that he was enticed into writing a begging letter to the Gardai, all at the behest of a Garda sergeant. But records provided on here this week show that waaaay back in 1822 another Luke Flanagan , also from  county Roscommon was sentenced to transportation to Australia for the serious crime of “highway robbery” Seems like 1822 Luke Flanagan also found the whole thing unfair “Convict states that they were prosecuted out if revenge”

via NAMA Wine Lake | Click the green link above for latest news and over 2,400 related articles. NAMA – National Asset Management Agency – part of Ireland’s response to its banking crisis and property bubble.

via NAMA Wine Lake | Click the green link above for latest news and over 2,400 related articles. NAMA – National Asset Management Agency – part of Ireland’s response to its banking crisis and property bubble.


Luke Ming Flanagan


Ming get active and take your complaint to the National Consumer Agency (NCA).

You probably would have them on Food labelling, Product labelling and deceptive trading practices,

Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands

Scandalous situation. Charity shops belonging to altruistic organisations such as St Vincent De Paul and Oxfam, helping the disadvantaged are expected to pay thousands in rates while the cushy offices of the Taoiseach, currently screwing the disadvantaged, are totally exempt.

enda kenny

The independent is running another story highlighting the cruelty and inequity of our system. As an example of our two tier society, this is a pretty good one. Our political class get away with it again while voluntary organisations staving off the very worst consequences of FG austerity measures to pay foreign bank gambling debts, for the most disadvantaged in society are totally screwed by huge commercial rates bills. Meanwhile Europe’s best paid (but worst??) politicians get a free ride on their rates bill.

There truly is no justice in this country!


CHARITY shops in the Taoiseach’s home town of Castlebar are facing demands for thousands of euro in commercial rates – but Enda Kenny‘s constituency office is exempt from the charge.

In a lucrative perk introduced some years ago as part of the national valuation regulations, TDs‘ offices are exempt from the rates.

But in Castlebar, Co Mayo, charities such as the St Vincent de Paul and Oxfam have rates charged on their premises at the same rate as other commercial premises. The same rules apply to charity shops all over Ireland run by organisations like Age Action Ireland, Aware, Barnardos and the Irish Cancer Society.

“It is outrageous that the Taoiseach’s lavish constituency HQ is a freebie for Enda Kenny as far as rates are concerned while Oxfam and other charities are being crucified,” complained local independent councillor Frank Durkan.”

via Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands – Indymedia Ireland.

via Outrage as Taoiseach’s constituency office exempt from rates – while charities pay thousands – Indymedia Ireland.

All Hail Ming! The Ruler of The Dáil!

All Hail Ming! Ruler of The New Dáil!.

via All Hail Ming! Ruler of The New Dáil!.

his ultimate goal is to one day rule the Universe

Oireachtas members obliged to repay expenses after audit

Seven of 12 Oireachtas members subject to a random audit of expenses were ordered to pay money back, with Fine Gael TD Derek Keating submitting a refund of more than €7,500.

Fine Gael TD Ray Butler was told to repay €4,923.69 of the €16,210.04 paid to him and said he would do so by February.

An independent auditor’s report found the seven members were unable to show sufficient receipts or relevant documentation within allowable expenditure categories relating to the public representation allowance paid to TDs and Senators.

Fine Gael TD Joe O’Reilly returned €1,400.61 of the €22,643.47 he received.

The expenditure was ineligible due to lack of evidence in the form of vouchers, receipts or bills to show that expenses were incurred in the relevant period to the amount claimed and were not applied wholly in respect of expenses specified by guidelines.

Labour TD Ciarán Lynch returned €1,316.47 of €22,527.82, while Labour Minister of State for Primary Care Alex White gave back €466.72 of €20,358.14. Fine Gael Minister of State for training and skills Ciarán Cannon repaid €308.57 of €15,105.82 and Labour Senator Susan O’Keeffe €91.41 of €7,046.89.

The public representation allowance (PRA) can cover office rent, rates, utilities, insurance, improvements and cleaning. It can also cover telephone calls, computer costs including web hosting, distribution of leaflets, advertising and conference attendance.

Members can opt for the PRA to be vouched or unvouched. The minimum certified amount for unvouched expenditure is €15,000 for TDs and €9,250 for Senators. The maximum amount for vouched expenditure is €25,700 for TDs and €15,000 for Senators.

A total of 119 of the Oireachtas’s 226 TDs and Senators receive vouched allowances.

The vouched allowance is subject to audit. Members are required to retain receipts and supporting documents for inspection for five years.

Mr Keating, who returned €7,571.68 of €13,420.96, said: “As a newly-elected deputy last year I opted for the vouched expenses. My understanding was that I was in keeping with the regulations. But I fully accept the auditor’s view. I paid it back immediately.”

Mr Keating said he regularly published his expenses on his website.

Those found to be fully compliant by the auditors were: Labour Minister of State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch; Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe; Fine Gael TDs Joe Carey and Tom Barry; as well as Independent TD Catherine Murphy.

The auditing firm Mazars was appointed by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

via Oireachtas members obliged to repay expenses after audit – The Irish Times – Sat, Dec 22, 2012.

via Oireachtas members obliged to repay expenses after audit – The Irish Times – Sat, Dec 22, 2012.

Creighton expresses concern over abortion change – RTÉ News

Minister of State Lucinda Creighton has expressed concern about the possibility of allowing the threat of suicide to be a basis for an abortion.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics, Ms Creighton said she had concerns about “the whole question of suicide and how it can be defined”.

Her comments come as the Cabinet prepares its response to an expert group report which looked at the options for dealing with abortion under the X Case ruling.

A number of newspapers today reported that several other Fine Gael TDs shared Ms Creighton’s concerns.

However the extent of any political fall-out will only become clear when the Government publishes its detailed proposals in the coming months.

via Creighton expresses concern over abortion change – RTÉ News.

via Creighton expresses concern over abortion change – RTÉ News.

Broken promise: Gilmore in trouble as TDs rebel over Budget

IN a weekend of discontent, furious Labour TDs have declared the controversial cut to child benefit in the Budget a “red-line” issue and have rounded on their leader Eamon Gilmore.

Launching a scathing attack on Mr Gilmore and other ministers, the Labour senator John Whelan said: “This is a Cabinet of grey-haired old men who are detached from the lives of working families.”

In a reference to the expected retirement of most of the Cabinet at the next election, Mr Whelan asked: “Who among them will have to face mothers at the next election to explain their actions?”

At the last general election, Labour vowed to protect child benefit, but the monthly rate was cut in the Budget by €10 per child to €130 for the first three children. The cut come into effect in January. A further cut of €10 is to be implemented for a fourth and subsequent children from January 2014.

The entire measure will cost many hard-pressed families up to €1,500 a year before other cuts and taxes are taken into account, such as changes to PRSI and the property tax.

Of the 45 members of Labour’s parliamentary party, 12 TDs and senators have expressed varying degrees of concern, both publicly and privately, at the direction their party is taking in Government.

It has also also emerged that Labour’s chairman, Colm Keaveney, has written to TDs and senators – in defiance of the party leadership – to ask for complaints, which he has said he will urgently take to Mr Gilmore. While Mr Gilmore and other Labour ministers are anxious to maintain control over internal dissent, Mr Keaveney wrote: “The last week has been a difficult one for us as a party.

“The Budget presented many challenges for us as we are in Government with a party that operates according to a very different set of values and objectives from our own.

“Email me with your thoughts and reflection on the Budget,” he urged, “so that I may express them back to the party organisation and leadership and, in particular, at our next meeting of the executive board.”

As Sinn Fein this weekend mounted protests outside the constituency offices of Labour TDs and senators nationwide, the feedback to Mr Gilmore and his colleagues was unequivocal.

Mr Whelan said: “I am the eldest of a family of seven. I grew up in a council estate in Monasterevin (Co Kildare). Like many families, I know first hand the importance of children’s allowance to help make ends meet.

“This child benefit cut is hard to stomach as it impacts so hard on lower-income families who need it most.

“And now, thanks to this unfair cut, I have Brian Stanley and Sinn Fein protesting outside my office in Portlaoise today, making more noise, when I am trying to make a difference, change things and have these cutbacks on children reversed.”

Another senior and widely respected Labour TD said: “Child benefit has to be protected. The moment I heard the Budget, I knew this was going to be the red-line issue.

“We have created a poverty trap for working Irish families who need child benefit, not as a luxury, but to live, to provide school lunches for the kids.”

In a reference to current unease within Labour, Mr Whelan added: “Roisin Shorthall, who still carries real moral authority in the party, asked if the Budget had been poverty-proofed – and answer there was none.”

Another rural TD told the Sunday Independent: “We’re trying to explain why parents can’t buy school dinners for their children and Gilmore is out in Foreign Affairs talking about saving the world.

“He is not where we want or need him to be. We are losing our entire moral and political platform.”

Despite the outrage, however, the expectation as of now is that the Social Welfare Bill, which implements the cuts in child benefit, will be passed without change in January.

However, there is an expectation that several Labour TDs will either vote against the measure or abstain, thus losing the party whip and joining several former colleagues in opposition, including Ms Shortall.

A campaign to change some of what are regarded as the more severe Budget cuts is likely to be sustained and increased over Christmas and into the new year.

A senior Labour TD said last night: “We are going to be annihilated if we continue on like this. We have already abandoned several of the key promises we made during the election.”

Also yesterday, several TDs expressed anger at the leadership’s failure to secure a three per cent increase in the Universal Social Charge for people earning over €100,000.

There was also huge concern at the implication of PRSI changes, which will result in more reductions in the take-home pay of all workers, and hit low- and middle-income earners in particular.

However, other Labour Oireachtas members are still trying to focus attention on the opposition.

Donegal senator Jimmy Harte said it was “very difficult to justify these tough decisions” but that no credible alternatives had been put forward by either Sinn Fein or Fianna Fail.

He added: “I am very unhappy with a lot of what was in the Budget, the respite care cuts and child benefit. I would have liked to have seen a solidarity tax included.”

Many Labour TDs and senators were scathing in private but unwilling to state publicly their true feelings.

Others spoke openly of how the cuts are difficult to stomach but stopped short of directly criticising Mr Gilmore and Labour ministers.

Meath East TD Dominic Hannigan said: “Nobody likes having to make these cuts. The best we can do is to ensure they are as fair as possible.”

In a further sign of concern within the party, the Labour equivalent of the Fine Gael ‘five-a-side’ group of disenchanted – but so far loyal – first-time TDs has emerged.

Described as “hardcore Labour” and said to be concerned with maintaining the party’s identity, some of the names believed to be involved include Ann Phelan (Carlow Kilkenny) and Dublin TDs Robert Dowds, Eamon Maloney and Michael Conaghan. Derek Nolan (Galway West) is said to be “loosely affiliated” to the group.

Mr Dowds said he held a meeting on Friday in his constituency to discuss the impact of the Budget.

“People realised it was a difficult Budget and that we have very little option at this stage – but it is difficult.”

He felt that ministers Joan Burton and Ruairi Quinn had done a “brilliant job” in ensuring the cuts were limited.

At least seven other TDs, including Mr Keaveney, have also expressed a degree of concern about the party’s direction. They include Michael McNamara (Clare); Brendan Ryan (Dublin North); Michael McCarthy (Cork South West); Joanna Tuffy (Dublin Mid West); Ciara Conway (Waterford); and Mr Hannigan.

Senators John Kelly, John Gilroy, Denis Landy and James Heffernan are also openly disaffected with the “current direction of the party”.

While the anger is palpable within Labour, some in the party described Mr Keaveney’s actions as an open refutation of the party leadership, with whom he has endured a rocky relationship.

via Broken promise: Gilmore in trouble as TDs rebel over Budget – National News –

via Broken promise: Gilmore in trouble as TDs rebel over Budget – National News –

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