Apollo House, Simon Coveney and Lying for a Living

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From top: Then Minister for Housing Simon Coveney following his meeting with Apollo House activists, including top from left: Brendan Ogle and  Terry McMahon; Terry Mcmahon

Filmmaker Terry McMahon was among a group of Apollo House activists who met then Minister for Housing Simon Coveney at the Housing Agency offices in Dublin on January 6, 2017.

Terry McMahon writes:

It was late at government buildings. Rain threatened as exhausted press photographers peered up at sparsely lit windows. A cynical RTE reporter sat in his expensive car hating the dumb do-gooders that had lately hogged his headlines. The streets were empty.

Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney sat across from us. Frustration on both sides. Trying to break a deadlock. We were ‘Home Sweet Home’ and Coveney and his cohorts were the government.

We were in lengthy negotiations to secure basic rights for some of society’s most vulnerable. They were complex and difficult but Coveney reiterated the brilliantly bold statement that he would have every family out of emergency hotels by July 1st 2017.

He gave his word on it. He was staking his reputation on it. This was going to happen. This was irrefutable. This was fact.

Our side of the long negotiating table was a motley crew. Brendan Ogle and Dave Gibney were the main negotiators. Brilliant men both. Union leaders. Fighters. Then there was Jim Sheridan, the multiple Oscar nominated genius in fiction and in life; Glen Hansard, the Oscar winning giant with a heart as big as his magnificent voice; the relentlessly brave saints of The Irish Housing Network, Aisling Hedderman and Oisin Fagan; and Dean Scurry, the visionary working class hero who started the whole damn thing.

And me, the dumb fuck hack-whore who’d never be normally let in the building. On the government’s side there were men and women who led us to believe they wanted to do the right thing. And we believed them. We had to.

I won’t speak for the others. They have their own tale to tell. Most of them much better than mine. Every one of them, without exception, handled themselves beautifully. Erudite, passionate and humane, they put everything on the line.

I only opened my mouth three times. There were several recesses during the lengthy negotiations where we’d break for fifteen minutes to regroup. I hadn’t spoken yet. Listening was more important. And watching. Lies aren’t just told with the mouth.

We had reached another bullshit impasse and broke for the obligatory recess. Downstairs in our allocated room someone asked if the room was bugged. We were told no. The collective decision was made that someone would have to shake up the negotiations. Pull the pin on a grenade. The decision was made that it should be me. Nobody asked how it should be done. It just had to be done. Effectively. But politely.

We went back upstairs and the mood in the room from the government folks was jovial. Confident. They had us on the run. Everyone took their seats and the Minister looked at Brendan Ogle waiting for him to recommence. Brendan said nothing. Best poker player I ever saw.

The Minister raised his eyebrows behind those ill-fitting glasses of his and waited. “Simon?” It was the first time he’d heard my voice. And he didn’t like it. Everybody in the room had shown respect to the office by addressing him at all times as, “Minister” and here was I calling him Simon.

He looked over at me. Him and the rest of his team. No attempt to hide their disdain. Coveney wiped his lower lip to hide a tiny quiver and peered over his glasses.

I didn’t know what was going to come out of my mouth but I watched his eyes to get a read of the man. In truth, all I saw was a kind of shallow vanity. Pointing to the large windows behind us, my voice became low, almost shy, and I said, “Everyone out there thinks you’re a bunch of lying scumfuck bastards.”

For a man accustomed to negotiations it was bizarre how the skin on Coveney’s face blanched. How the purple blood rushing behind the epidermis betrayed his entire facade. His disgust was palpable. Visceral. He wanted me dead. I didn’t blink. Fuck him. “What can you give me to prove to those people you’re not a fucking hustler?”

Coveney had never been spoken to this way. Not by anybody. Particularly not by some piece of shit commoner off the street. The rest of his staff were paralysed. Coveney looked to Brendan Ogle and stammered a demand for some kind of decorum.

But Brendan remained silent. The pin had been pulled. Coveney stared at me and spat the words out, ‘I’m no hustler.’ I stared right back at him and quietly said, “Prove it.”

This is the first week of July 2017 and, more than six months after the occupation of Apollo House, homelessness is worse than any time in recorded history.

In a Machiavellian deal with his new boss – Leo Vardakar – two weeks before he was due to deliver on his promise, Minister Simon Coveney dumped his Housing portfolio to become Minister For Foreign Affairs and Trade with Responsibility for Brexit.

Children are being raised in emergency hotel rooms with their families. The hotel rules and regulations they have to abide by would make convicted felons balk. These kids are not allowed go out to the grounds. Not allowed to enter and exit through the front door. Not allowed eat in the restaurant.

These children are ghosts. Walking through corridors in the early morning. Permission given only because they have to go to school. Uniform on. Head down. Passing noisy business types on their way to slice and dice some deal. Slice and dice some dream. Slice and dice some corpse. Masters of the Universe. Too busy to see these children. Too important to do a double take. Too indifferent to give a damn.

Everyone understands the contract. The perfect division. Shame does that to you. Trains you how to be silent. Teaches you how to become invisible. Prepares you for rage.

The second time I spoke was just after a break in negotiations. It wasn’t intended to be provocative. If anything it was an attempt to connect. We appeared to have made real progress. In between recesses, as everybody was taking their seats, Coveney threw away a comment about having to get on the road. He wanted to kiss his kids goodnight before they went to bed.

Despite all the bullshit, I found that touching. Plus, I’m a father of four. Empathy. “What ages are your kids?” That’s all I said. Across the room. Open. Warm. No hustle. He looked at me. That same purple rising up his face. How fucking dare I discuss his life. He stammered through an answer he hated having to give.

Turns out the Minister has three kids. Girls. They too have schoolbags on their backs. Uniform on. Head up. But there’s no need for silent bowing in their world. They don’t live in an emergency hotel room. In fact, now that Daddy is Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with Responsibility for Brexit these girls will be in many hotel rooms. Plush rooms in plush cities with plush expense accounts.

The folks they’ll pass in hotel hallways will be Daddy’s mates. And those mates won’t be deaf, dumb and blind to these kids. Because these kids are minister’s daughters. They’re not the silent ghosts in cheap emergency hotel corridors. The ungrateful ones with the chips on the shoulders. The ones with the lazy parents. The future dole fraudsters.

These might get up early but it’s usually because they have to get three buses to school. The slovenly bastards probably sleep in class anyway. You know the type. Professional magpies. Scroungers. The cheats who cheat us all.

The third time I spoke I gave the game away. I was effusive. Emotional. Needy. When I was seventeen I got my first bedsit. I had been homeless. Lost. A ghost. Like those kids in the corridors. But when I closed that bedsit door behind me those keys were more precious than it is possible to explain.

During the negotiations I had become obsessed with the symbolism of ‘Own Key Accommodation.’ True autonomy. I was stupidly nodding in agreement to anything to secure Own Key Accommodation for the three new buildings that we had been promised.

Thankfully Brendan Ogle and Dave Gibney interceded and kept us on track. Brendan and Dave smelled a rat but I was willing to sell my soul for the thought of those people feeling that same thing I had at seventeen.

Own Key Accommodation. Coveney agreed to include it in the document. I could have kissed him. Him and his face that turns purple. Him and his instinct to kiss his daughters goodnight. Him and his, “I’m no hustler.”

Brendan and Dave’s instinct was right. They fucked us. They fucked everyone. Worst of all they fucked the most vulnerable. That’s the thing about being a Master of the Universe. Once you slice and dice one human being it gets easier. Becomes a numbers game. Statistics. Few things dehumanise faster than numbers.

One hundred homeless is a scary figure. One thousand is terrifying. Seven thousand is just a number. Deal done. An entire subclass of people to use as a weapon to threaten folks who can’t pay the mortgage. The ultimate whipping boy. The homeless. Not even people any more. No even numbers. Just, “the homeless.”

Simon Coveney is now the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with Responsibility for Brexit. The same Simon Coveney who attended the Bilderberg meetings.

The same Simon Coveney who’s willing to let countless children be ghosts in their own lives. When it comes to slicing and dicing this country for Brexit who do you think this professional hustler will listen to? The countless children he lets haunt hotel corridors or his beautiful Bilderberg buddies?

On this first week of July 2017 the lies are once again exposed. And nobody gives a damn. Just like the lies told about Jobstown. There will be no accountability. No media outcry. No consequence. These sociopaths lie to get what they want. And lie some more to keep it.

And to keep their fictions alive some people have to die. Some die slowly. Some fast. Some don’t even see it coming. Some deny its existence. But the one thing that connects us all is the fact that austerity is premeditated, cold-blooded murder. And its champions are serial killers.

Kids in fancy hotel rooms don’t die. Kids in emergency hotel rooms do. One day at a time. Unless we fight for their future.

Terry McMahon

Pics: Rollingnews

125 thoughts on “Apollo House, Simon Coveney and Lying for a Living

  1. Fully Keen

    That creative writing class was worth every penny. You have used all the words.

    1. thecitizenatbarneys

      Was thinking the same thing.

      At least he’s proven he can see the other side of the page in the dictionary.

      Not exactly the most helpful or productive piece but that’s the problem with self indulgent writing.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        Speaking of helpful or productive…

        How much overtime will the Fraperoom have to do to mitigate another FG poopfest?

      2. Nigel

        God there’s some snottiness about this piece going on. but the idea of dismissing it as not helpful or productive when the government has failed abjectly and utterly and humiliatingly for year after year to address the homeless crisis is obscene.

        ‘Oh I was going to care about the needless suffering of thousands of my fellow citizens but then he used too many big words in a rant so I had to roll my eyes at that instead.’

        1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

          I commend you taking the clickbait Nigel as I did

      3. Spacejam

        How was it not helpful? The article is written by a man that’s heavily involved in the homeless situation in Ireland. Someone that got face to face with leaders of this country and asked heavy questions, and wasn’t paid for it. It’s first hand perspective. What do you call helpful, a billion euro. I suppose you’ll be making an anonymous donation this week.

  2. missred

    My friend shared this the other day. I know Terry McMahon is a writer & film maker but he writes these statuses with too much self importance. The macho willy-waving, stags-lock-horns he is imagining is also just so unnecessary and distracting from the issues at hand.

    The brown-nosing towards Brendan Ogle really doesn’t do any favours either.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      I don’t think there’s anything written that Terry McMahon is imagining. He’s right. Coveney failed to help those in unsuitable accommodation but managed to weasel a promotion out from under the burden of a few thousand homeless children due to also failing to win the leadership of FG too.

      Politics – The Art of the Possible. Where it’s possible to fupp up everything you touch and get rewarded for it.

      1. missred

        I’m not doubting that the conflict happened or trying to under-play Coveney’s failures. It’s just such a cringey writing style that makes him look far too pleased with himself.

        1. Spacejam

          What’s he got to be pleased about. The government u-turned on their promises. He’s clearly angry.

      2. Owen C

        “A cynical RTE reporter sat in his expensive car hating the dumb do-gooders that had lately hogged his headlines”

        And this is how it starts off…

      3. Otis Blue

        And Coveney now gets to apply his unique talents to the pressing issue of Brexit.

        Truly, as a Nation, we are blessed.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      “too much self importance”

      This accusation was leveled at Paul Murphy and at pretty much anyone who professes to care for those worse off than he/she. ‘Pfft. They don’t *really* care.’

      “The brown-nosing towards Brendan Ogle”

      Red flag. (Pun intended)

      1. anne

        it’s an Irish thing.. people and their notions. keep the head down..know your place sorta attitude.

        1. nellyb

          nah, it’s universal human, people who not sure about own place tell everyone else where their are. guilty of it myself, but repent eventually :-)

          1. anne

            ah we’re extra good at keeping people in their places though.. we can blame the church for that i think.

          2. mildred st. meadowlark

            I’d say the English gave us a pretty good grounding in subjugation before we decided to ask the Church to take over.

    3. terryprone

      I am always amazed at people who call themselves a writer and yet can’t actually write. Does the hospital porter call himself a surgeon? No.

      1. Nigel

        I’m always amazed at the people who call themselves a feckin government but can’t lift a finger to sort out a growing homeless crisis but hey you just keep slapping down people trying to express themselves, it’s easier.

      2. Frank McGrath

        …and the point made about the number of homeless citizens increasing and yet another Government promise broken…? I take it you’d include them in the hospital porter/surgeon analogy?

      3. Spacejam

        What the fupp has this comment got to do with anything. Who the fupp are you, will self.

      4. Anne Kavanagh

        A long piece but every bit the truth, the people of this country are rightly stitched up by successive useless governments, when will it end???

  3. Andrew

    This chap has lost the run of himself. Did he swallow a thesaurus?

    This line was hilarious:

    “austerity is premeditated, cold-blooded murder. And its champions are serial killers.”

    Jim Sheridan’s a genius now?
    Don’t get me started on Hansard.

      1. Happy Molloy

        I remember the ads for that, they looked great. Film was meant to be crap though. Full marks for film promotion though.

  4. Birneybau2

    “This relentlessly one-note, indigestibly overwritten picture duplicates the experience of being trapped in a train carriage with a bore who’s spent too much time at the drinks trolley. There’s a good film bursting to get out, but it hasn’t been allowed space to breathe.”

    1. Andrew

      Great review. I loved this line:
      “But having Charlie begin his diatribe with (intentionally or not) the opening line of Albert Camus’s L’Étranger is an allusion too far. It’s akin to allowing that volume to poke conspicuously from the pocket of a corduroy jacket”

          1. Birneybau2

            “The Minister raised his eyebrows behind those ill-fitting glasses of his and waited. “Simon?” It was the first time he’d heard my voice. And he didn’t like it. Everybody in the room had shown respect to the office by addressing him at all times as, “Minister” and here was I calling him Simon.

            He looked over at me. Him and the rest of his team. No attempt to hide their disdain. Coveney wiped his lower lip to hide a tiny quiver and peered over his glasses.

            I didn’t know what was going to come out of my mouth but I watched his eyes to get a read of the man. In truth, all I saw was a kind of shallow vanity. Pointing to the large windows behind us, my voice became low, almost shy, and I said, “Everyone out there thinks you’re a bunch of lying scumfuck bastards.”

            For a man accustomed to negotiations it was bizarre how the skin on Coveney’s face blanched. How the purple blood rushing behind the epidermis betrayed his entire facade. His disgust was palpable. Visceral. He wanted me dead. I didn’t blink. Fuck him. “What can you give me to prove to those people you’re not a fucking hustler?”

            Coveney had never been spoken to this way. Not by anybody. Particularly not by some piece of shit commoner off the street. The rest of his staff were paralysed. Coveney looked to Brendan Ogle and stammered a demand for some kind of decorum.”

          2. Happy Molloy

            jaaaysis

            this fella learns a lot about people at a glance. it’s impressive.

          3. Nigel

            I gazed across the comment section at Binrneybau2. I”d never seen him before. I wasn’t seeing him now. His face blanched the colour of an empty comment box.
            ‘Camus and have a go if you think you’re hard enough,’ I growled. Due to the nature of our communication he would have to take the growl as implied. He could hear it. A million homeless children were growling with me. Happy Molloy rolled on the floor, but he wasn’t laughing.
            Simon Coveney drove by in a ’62 Chevy.
            ‘Have some cheap and affordable housing, you mugs,’ he screamed, and opened fire.

          4. Nigel

            Dammit I just realised with the comment filter off I could have had a lot more swearing.

            ‘Fupp you you fupping fupps’ Coveney cackled as he reversed over the bodies with a hideously fupping satisfying squelch.

  5. Owen

    This is not a productive attempt at anything. It’s just a rant. I appreciate it might be accurate, but it gains nothing.

    1. bertie "The Inexplicable Pleasure" blenkinsop

      I only got as far as Frodo leaving the shire

          1. bertie "The Inexplicable Pleasure" blenkinsop

            This article was a lot of Shawshank and not much Redemption.

  6. sOCK pUPPET

    I can’t get idea of the children as ghosts in their own lives out of my head.

  7. bisted

    …a powerful and moving commentary…I hope someone will read this into the Dail record…Terry has got the measure of Coveney…

  8. TheRealJane

    Well I am entirety persuaded that all we need to run the country is a benign Oscar winner oligarchy.

    Clearly it’s the mark of genius and integrity and housing policy excellence. There’s nothing these people can’t do!

  9. Optimus Grime

    Ah Terry, I read this and you I don’t doubt you for a second in your recollection of events but it’s the macho “And I said to him…” posturing and over-elaboration in the draft that makes it as rickety as Apollo House!

    1. missred

      Yep that’s what I was getting at. I like a bit of creative writing, but I doubt I’ll be depicting a meeting with a housing minister like I were Dirty Harry.

  10. nellyb

    Terry, write a piece to Cork Independent, shame his voters and backers. Maybe Greencore show some charity to fellow citizens…. ?

  11. MoyestWithExcitement

    ‘Let’s make litter out of these literati!’
    ‘That’s too clever, you’re one of them!’

    Seriously, chap talks about serious problems we have in out society and BS react by complaining that he used over elaborate language. Insecure, easily offended gobsheens.

    1. nellyb

      or perfectionists, demanding best language to discuss most serious problem? nah, just kidding.

  12. Ferret McGruber

    What’s wrong with you people? Instead of seeing the message you’re shooting the messenger. Apollo House was a brilliant initiative that, if nothing else, made some peoples’ lives better at Christmas time. Those involved put together a genuinely homely, safe space in a very short space of time, something which government, for all its resources, is incapable of doing. Just look at Direct Provision Centres.

    Apollo House was honourably abandoned by those who put it together on promises made by Simon Coveny to properly deal with the homeless crisis. He has kept exactly none of those promises and now Apollo House and its ethos is needed more than ever.

    When you attack Terry McMahon, you’re choosing the wrong target, exactly the target that Simon Coveney and his ilk would encourage you to attack.

    Are you that stupid?

      1. Owen C

        Communication of any issue is vitally important to getting your message across to the average Joe who has lots of other things going on his life. This is a pretty poor (by being too OTT) communication as a result. Quite why it needed to be so OTT is no clear, a simple recollection of events vs the current situation would have been enough to get that message across.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          This is concern trolling. Also, this guy is the last person who can critique someone’s clarity.

        2. Nigel

          Feck that. I wish more political negotiations were written as cynical neo-noir hard-boiled crime dramas. Might help make more sense of them.

        3. Owen

          +1 Its not shooting the message or messenger, but the delivery. It reeks of attention seeking to the person, not the message.

          1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

            What? Reeks of what? Advocacy reeks of what?

            I hope you got sick in your own mouth after posting that

          2. Hawkeyed

            This piece is all about me , myself and I. Feel me . Need me . Love me. Post me. Hashtag me. The message of the piece has been shamefully lost, as the author made himself the focus of the post. The effusion of adverbs and adjectives merely serves to heighten the complete lack of self- awareness. The homeless are the story , not Terry and his theatrical merry men.

          3. Johnny Keenan

            Terry McMahon is a writer. He writes screen plays and directs films. He is now one of the chief negotiators who attempted to broker a deal on behalf of thousands of homeless people back in January.
            He commemorated the date July 1st (the date Coveney promised the homeless crisis would be well on the way to being solved. It’s actually worse and Coveney has jumped ship) with this thought provoking challenging piece of writing to highlight the lies and false promises of Coveney.
            McMahon was in that room. (When I was reading his post I was thinking of the great drama/biog ‘The Treaty’ 1991)

            He recollects his version of events. So he has every right to use artistic licence. It’s a masterpiece in fiction if it wasn’t so raw and real.

            It was Terry McMahon who made me sit up and cry with a mixture of anger and realisation when he delivered this speech in Ballymun last December.
            THIS IS OUR IRELAND https://youtu.be/0zYyvMfkU2g.

            Did you ever have that emotion of anger and realisation at the one time? It’s a scary but beautiful pinning feeling. It’s best described as Pride.
            The LGBT community may have felt it on May 22 1916. James Connolly may have felt it on 12th May 1916 just before he was executed.

            For the whole year of 1916 I saw chancer liar charlatan bulpooper hijack OUR commemoration and celebration of the rebels of 1916. I was at the point of leaving the country. I looked around at the desolation. People with get up and go had got up and gone. I was all but packed up.
            I was that sick of the hypocrisy, lies and cover ups. I thought as a people we are going backward and not in any shape or form were we moving forward.
            Ireland and it’s people ain’t ready or are too docile and apathetic for another uprising.
            Then I saw Terry McMahon take all that was good about the uprising of 1916 and all that was bad about Ireland 2016 “elected and non elected scum in 3 piece suits protect the criminally corrupt”.
            I knew then and dare we were moving forward, because he dared to say the unsayable. He defined them and he called them out. I never heard or saw anyone do this so passionately and eloquently. And I felt it. At that moment I promised myself I would stay and fight for the good of this country because of the real honest genuine hardworking people that made this country a country worth fighting for.

            For a long time it is clear to me that a revolution can be won through the power of words. Art is the drone of our revolution. Revolution can manifest in the heart mind and soul of a concerned citizen. It can be articulated in a poem song play or film through the power of words. It can then resonate in the sweet fresh free scented air where it can be inhaled and exhaled. Essentially we have to breathe it, so everyone understands its importance, and everyone acts accordingly for the betterment of our society.

            The signatories of our proclamation were all artists. The women and men who wore their heart on their sleeve for Ireland and the ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our independence and freedom were and are artists. The eyes of the world look at our country and know that it is made up of artists and free thinkers.
            *Tap of the flat cap to Johnny Connors and his tribe.

            Terry McMahon is an artist and a revolutionary. He uses the power of words to describe how he helped and continues to help the less fortunate in our society. I understand that philistines don’t understand the power of art in this country. Just look around this island and see where the money is going and the banality that’s being promoted and produced by the government and corporations.
            All white collar crime is legitimate business in this ‘Republuc’ and all the scum in 3 piece suits are now on the run but continue to be faceless and nameless. They might have changed their wolves in sheeps clothing but not their greasy greedy intentions.
            As Yeats profoundly wrote in his poem The Fisherman ‘The Beating Down Of The Wise And The Great Art Beaten Down’.

            McMahon has the courage of his convictions to put his name to what he writes and dresses the way he wants to dress. He is a true rebel and non conformist. He deserves to be hailed as one. People like him can’t be bought or silenced by such snakes. He is an artist and articulates himself as one. I think it’s compelling visceral reading viewing and listening for anyone who should check out his body of work.

            BS is now getting negative publicity on the back of this thread. Broadsheet seems to be a place where trolls go after they get kicked out of other social network sites for trolling.

            I know since its existence 7 years ago BS have done great work and anonymity is important in under covering stories.
            This situation is different. Stoping a piece from becoming a thought provoking conversation needs to be challenged. The trolls just need to know this.

            A great GAA analogy is ‘play the ball and not the man’

            We are living in unprecedented times. Opinions are necessary but only if they are out in the open.

            Maybe it’s time to head off to Twitter with ye’re witty comments. Or maybe it’s time for me to head off and rev it up.
            I still think my mantra makes sense when reading McMahons post and potential cents for the Irish people…
            Information Is Knowledge
            Knowledge is Power
            Power To The Peaceful
            (Because peaceful people are reasonable people)

            As our proclamation proclaimed in relation to the cause. “We pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity or rapine”

            Goodluck and Up The Rebels!!!
            &
            Up The Republic!!!

          4. Hawkeyed

            I hope Terrry rewards you with free acting classes, Johnny. The monologue could do with … mmm hang on … let me find the correct word … ah yes… authenticity.
            The problem most people have with this post is that it reads like an advert (for Terry ) and so like any advert it is open to being judged and critiqued .War in Vietnam would never have ended if journalists/writers/photographers had made it all about them .

          5. Johnny Keenan

            Hawkeyed
            We all need leaders in order to follow. I would like to think of myself as a leader but I will certainly follow anyone who shares my beliefs.
            Who or what do you believe in? What or who do you follow?

    1. missred

      I fully support Apollo House and the people behind it. It is indeed needed more than ever. Not attacking Terry for being part of the team, it’s that the writing was cringey.

      1. nellyb

        Shouldn’t you try to transcend your aesthetic boundaries? for the sake real issue?
        I don’t believe you’re vile, likely quite the opposite, but man, this Terry-bashing is unseemly, whether you’re left or right or in australia.

      2. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

        Cringey? That’s the sort of term my eleven year old uses when he critically analyses online content.

    2. Johnny Keenan

      Yeah Ferret. That’s the way the paid trolls operate.
      It’s a dirty job and scums gotta do it

    3. Antonio Gramsci

      “When you attack Terry McMahon, you’re choosing the wrong target, exactly the target that Simon Coveney and his ilk would encourage you to attack.

      Are you that stupid?”

      No. It is possible to think this stuff is self-absorbed gibberish and still support the aims of the Apollo House Campaign. You don’t get a free ride to promote yourself — this is all about HIM — just because you are on the right side of the argument.

  13. Peter Dempsey

    This article proves that he is as obnoxious and menacing as the character he played in Fair City.

      1. Johnny Keenan

        I’m not taking sides here but everything Anne says is always spot on. Oxford Dictionary we have our word for 2017 “Caawhinge”

  14. Malta

    Broadsheet, do you ever plan to fix the “read more” link that doesn’t work in the Android app?

  15. anne

    I can’t ‘read more’ on the phone.. can ye fix it BS? Thanks..yer brilliant. just want to see what’s the fuss.

  16. Diddy

    Did billy from fair city write this? Laid it on a bit thick. When will these guys realise that the government don’t build houses anymore?

    1. anne

      The government never built anything.. builders do.

      Government fund private landlords, hoteliers & refuge centres & ‘family hubs’ to meet demand for social housing at a huge cost to the taxpayer, that offers no long term solutions.. but keeps the gravy train going for some.

      1. Diddy

        Silence pedant.. Gov didn’t LITERALLY build houses rather paid builders to build council estates… Not anymore sister..

        1. anne

          Sure thing Diddy.
          You know your poopy brov..

          You realise they realise this already don’t you? Do you mean they should accept it?

          Let’s tease out the dumb here Diddy…

    2. Nigel

      I’d be happy if they suddenly remembered they have the power to devise a housing policy.

  17. Nicola Haverty Conway

    Terry & Co took action that was not only necessary but provocative. It demanded that a voice for those who have none, be heard. I fully support – then and now- the Apollo House move.

    Terry & Co have been open and transparent about the role they played and were very clear of their objectives. The Government – as we all know – were not.

    It amazes me that when such emotive and sensitive an issue is discussed – it’s the messengers who hang for it. As catalysts for reform – Terry & Co are all 100% needed.

    The elephant in the room is the lack of transparency, integrity, honesty and accountability – to include consequences- from the government. Who has the brief is irrelevant. Proven liars should have no place in any office in the land.

  18. Common Sense

    If anyone needs to understand a little more about the ‘clever’, pompous, apathy of the Irish, Do-Nothing, ‘I’m All Right Jack’, ‘shoot-the-messenger’ sneer brigade, look no further than this particular comments section. Like most distraction merchants, this plethora of self-righteous commentariat vipers, as usual, mostly only attack the style of the article and the writer himself. It’s way easier than admitting that the substance of the article is solid as fuck. If anyone thinks his austerity comments are exaggerated, perhaps they need to get themselves a copy of Naomi Klein’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’. It would be a first step towards educating expanding their uneducated minds. (Too many ‘big’ words for you, folks??)

    1. anne

      They don’t read novels around here..they’re definitely “OTT”.
      They want summaries of events in bullet points with bolded bits done by the admins…anything else is “OTT” & the toys will be thrown out of the pram… doesn’t matter about the sentiment.

    2. Birneybau2

      “It would be a first step towards educating expanding their uneducated minds. (Too many ‘big’ words for you, folks??)”

      Anyway, it’s a bit of Dirty Harry, self aggrandising nonsense. A cold, clinical, less hard boiled factual narrative of what actually transpired would have, I guarantee, been appreciated more.

    3. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

      Totally agree. I called my persona “alright” Jack for a reason as I’m so disgusted with the putrefaction of me feiners in here constantly picking holes in anyone with an objective point to make on any subject.

  19. Fergalito

    Christ. Previews of entries to The Moth Short Story prize won’t be appearing on Broadsheet anytime soon.

    I liked the piece. It provided an interesting insight. Passionate and from the heart – more rough-hewn hip-shots like this needed. Give me a little subjective bias over bland corporate-speak any day of the week. At least there’s the essence of something real in it.

    I’d have been disappointed with Coveney if I still held a naive view that politicians make promises that they at least serve to do their best to honour. Jumping ship to Foreign Affairs was a cowardly way out. I wanted to believe him when he made his (false) claims and staked his reputation on them. I suppose a reputation is a pretty cheap gambit for a front bench politician. Meanwhile, in other news…

  20. R

    Primo Levi wrote an entire book about his experiences as a holocaust prisoner that was less angry than this piece, had far less need for violent metaphor.

    Surprised an editor published this.

  21. Termagant

    I’m torn between my predilection for a little righteous fury and my general lack of time for this kind of obnoxious self-deprecating-slash-congratulatory bullpoo. If he’d toned it down a little he might have had me in his pocket, thinking he’s as great a lad as he seems to think he is.

  22. bobsyerauntie

    I passed Coveney in a corridor once, he was within a few arms lengths of me, but I got to stare into his eyes, and he stared right back. It was a few months before the Fine Gael ‘leadership contest’. The vibe off him was palpable, and the vibe wasn’t nice. I’m not surprised by this at all. Life is only a game to some, and politicians (especially right wing ones) view life as a charade. They will do and say anything to climb higher up the ranks. This is an incredibly poignant and raw piece of writing, thanks to Broadsheet for publishing it and thank you to Terry for writing it… Bravo.

    1. Johnny Keenan

      That’s it Bobs. Ya gotta stare these boo-boo’s down. They have any amount of money. it’s all about power to them now. They will do or say anything to maintain that. Pure sociopath.
      Terry boy psyched him out. He might have went in looking for the colour of money but he came out as Cool Hand Luke. What we got was Coveneys failure to communicate.

    2. Rob_G

      “Who is that deranged individual, and why are they gurning at me?”, Simon thought to himself, as he passed along the corridor.

      “Probably just some nutter”, he figured, and immediately forgot all about them.

      1. bobsyerauntie

        So, if you make eye contact with a government minister as they pass by you in a building, you’re a ‘nutter’? and ‘deranged’? Is that your logic? What’s deranged and nuts to me is how these people sleep at night, knowing full well the political ideologies they espouse cause immense harm to people. Coveney reeks of entitlement and spoiled privilege. What a deranged world we live in when millionaires from wealthy elite political dynasties are placed in charge of the most vulnerable and marginalized in society. How deranged is Ireland when we put landlords in charge of the homeless? Did we learn nothing from our dark history of landlordism, rack renting and classist colonial violence? It was obvious to many people that Coveney couldn’t give a flying fiddlers about homelessness, he couldn’t get out the ministerial role quick enough, and he was barely there pissing time before he bailed on ALL of his empty promises (which were nothing but lip-service and PR stunts to begin with). But he sleeps soundly at night? Does he? In his mansion? while people die on the streets, or in skips? and that’s bloody normal is it?- in your twisted world- maybe. In mine-it’s not, and never will be.

  23. rotide

    Nothing like a bit of self-indulgent writing, but the first clue as to the basis in reality comes in the first paragraph:
    ” A cynical RTE reporter sat in his expensive car hating the dumb do-gooders that had lately hogged his headlines.”

    This is a fictionalised account of actual events. So much of it is peppered with stuff he’s just made up to make himself seem important.

  24. Terry McMahon

    How are you, you beautiful people?

    I am the illiterate fool who penned that inflated piece of dog poo you so kindly critiqued. Thank you for the awakening you have inspired. You are correct in every cancerous comment. It is refreshing to have a such group of truth-seekers finally reveal me for the self-important, lying, narcissistic, pig-fupp-hack that I am. (I am also mostly sexually impotent. And, on the rare occasions I’m not, I’m a terrible lover anyway.)

    Your literary knowledge is staggeringly accurate. Your insight into the mucky motivations behind my self elevation is revelatory. It’s as if you have been living inside me for decades. How the psychology experts among you have not been plucked up for paid post graduate residences at John Hopkins is incomprehensible. And don’t get me started on the literary minded among you. Sufficeth to say, Princeston’s loss is our gain.

    For you I have decided to do the noble thing and kill myself, lest another pretentious sentence should ever escape these failed filthy fingernails. (See? Such sickening alliteration. I can’t help myself.) But I beseech you to continue your courageous work. Your creative contribution to society is unequalled. And future generations will surely acknowledge your brilliance.

    Keep making magic.

    1. :-Joe

      Fair play to you Terry, keep kicking against the willy-woos.

      I for one admire your tenacity in taking responsibility instead of just being a spectator with an opinion.

      The ad hominem attacks on you and the intentional exaggerated complaints about your honest, expressive and visceral creative writing style seems to highlight how it’s too much of a shock for some people to think about an opinion from another point of view.

      I get it, you work in the art and craft of making films and from your other post about your audition for changing your life you openly admit to not being highly academic or skilled which must include not having a formal education in writing, language, prose etc. and perhaps what most people would call an intellectual.

      Well foo-foo the begrudgers, I certainly don’t give a flying dwinkle-pants if you can’t be compared to Noam Chompsky and please the gutter-snipes who would prefer you had an editing department or the actual majority of the shameful critics who seem to have descended on this and commented for the first time(BS should look into this as a matter of FOI, bias and fairness in the media).

      Homeless people clearly mean nothing to many on this thread and there are people who are only here to intentionall distract, smear and attack you personally so as to deflect criticism from coveney an his behalf.

      It’s absoloutely disgusting and I’m gosh-darned apalled and ashamed to be an Irish citizen right now.

      Lastly, Terry.. whatever you decide to do…. don’t ever let these tweetle-dootles grind you down.

      :-J

  25. Common Sense

    The thing that’s bugging the sneer brigade most in this comments section is; the author is right; Coveney is a demonstrably provable career liar. Trying to distract people from this fact, with pseudo-literary critiques and hilarious ad hominem nonsense, doesn’t alter the fact.

    1. :-Joe

      Spot on, exactly.

      I used to think there was some hope that coveney had a bit of heart and soul in spite of his fellow charlatans in the FF/FG coalition of failure.

      Just another absentee landlord with no political accountability that betrayed the public trust and failed the most vunerable of Irish people.

      :-J

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