“I Sincerely Regret Expressing My Opinion…I Said Nothing Wrong”

at

This morning.

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten speaking to RTE One’s Martina Fitzgerald.

It follows a report in The Irish Times yesterday based on an affidavit sent to the High Court by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, in which it has asked the court to appoint inspectors to examine matters at Independent News and Media (INM).

The report stated, and Minister Naughten confirmed yesterday, that he spoke to Heneghan PR official Eoghan Ó Neachtain, who was representing INM at the time, on either November 10 or 11, 2016, about the proposed takeover of  the Celtic Media Group by INM to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Minister Naughten has told the Dail that he told Mr Ó Neachtain that he would likely send the matter to the BAI.

However, according to an email sent from Nigel Heneghan, founder of Heneghan PR, to Leslie Buckley, former chairman of INM, on November 12, 2016, Mr Heneghan wrote:

“The information, following Eoghan’s call with the minister which happened yesterday afternoon, is based on advice from his officials, he will pass it to the Broadcasting Commision [sic] of Ireland for review, because of the overall ownership of print and broadcast titled by DOB [Denis O’Brien].”

The decision to send the matter to the BAI wasn’t publicly known until January 2017.

In addition, he told Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy in the Dáil, on December 6, 2016, that he hadn’t made a decision yet.

INM and the minister: who said what to whom and when? (The Irish Times)

RTE News/Martina Fitzgerald 

 

30 thoughts on ““I Sincerely Regret Expressing My Opinion…I Said Nothing Wrong”

  1. ahjayzis

    ahjayzis the minister can’t tell you the outcome of this statutory process.

    But ahjayzis the person totally can, as there is a Chinese wall in place and one doesn’t talk to the other.

    Sack him, Leo.
    Fine Gael of ALL parties cannot afford to be seen again and again as the political wing of [REDACTED]’s small d\ck saga.

    1. b

      whatever you think about how and what information was disclosed – i just don’t follow the line about FG acting in DOB’s interest

      what was done with the referral was expressly not in his interests?

      1. anne

        He’s giving the heads up to an agent for DOB, when he’s not telling anyone else. & it wasn’t himself that wanted the matter referred to the BAI.. that came from pressure from others.

        He’ll pass along information to DOBs people & when asked by the likes of Catherine Murphy we’re told no decision made.

        Very dodgy.

        1. b

          “it wasn’t himself that wanted the matter referred to the BAI”

          is there any evidence of that?

          1. anne

            Yeah…watch that show with that loud mouth goon Ivan Yates & the quieter educated one, Matt Cooper is it? from last night.

          2. b

            i’m not watching 45mins of a tv show to validate your opinion – you’re going to have to be a little more specifc

          3. anne

            They’ll prob be on around min 5-10..approx. Tv3 has a player..it even works sometimes. give it a lash.

          4. b

            i’ve watched that Tv3 part now – no-one expresses that opinion that the minister didn’t want to refer the matter

            in fact most of the discussion is over him not telling everyone else that he was intending to refer the matter

          5. anne

            listen again…I don’t think that was the case. I think pressure was put on him to refer it to the BAI

          6. b

            yes he was lobbied, but there’s no suggestion anywhere that he was leaning to not refer it as you suggested

        2. Owen C

          “He’s giving the heads up to an agent for DOB”

          PR guy was an agent of INM, not DOB. PR guy communicated to Buckley, who was chairman of INM. So far so good. Issue is whether Buckley has actually been acting as an agent of DOB, and not just as an independent chairman. Obviously the evidence is starting to mount that he has been acting in such a manner. But its important to note that Naughten did not communicate directly with an agent of DOB (if nothing else, this would have been an incredibly convoluted way of communicating with DOB, as we can now see!)

          Naughten – poor judgement
          PR guy – doing his job
          Buckley – alleged market abuse for giving one shareholder the sensitive info and not others
          DOB – in receipt of sensitive info but unlikely he actually did anything with it

          Buckley is the fall guy here.

          1. anne

            An agent of INM = an agent of DOB, unfortunately.

            DOB personally threatening director of corporate enforcement, re papers seeking to appoint inspectors to INM, DOB confirming the lack of independent corporate governance at INM. He’s taking investigations into the INM data breach very personally for some reason.

            You’re losing when you’re defending as they say.

            DOB wants rid of journalists at INM who write about him, DOB gets rid of journalists who write about him at INM.

            Chairman is not independent of DOB at INM.

            DOB aided by his lawyers who threaten people, does as he pleases. Up and and including possibly spying on people who might criticise his activities..or USB sticks show up on his desk or something.

  2. anne

    What oversight is there with politicians giving insider information to Denis O’Brien’s lobbyists? Anything at all?

    Shur wasn’t Noonan wining and dining with the Vultures on a regular basis?

    Denis O’Brien, the Maltese exile is personally threatening agents of the Irish state.

    Why wasn’t Denis O’Brien done for bribing Michael Lowry? 900k wasn’t it?

    No wonder you’d be confident when you’re found to have bribed a politician & nothing happens.

  3. phil

    Is there anything an Irish Politician could do that would require them to resign ? Seriously though whats the spectrum , Id imagine murder would qualify , but would it ?

    1. ahjayzis

      When they eventually do resign they become fupping martyr’s too.

      When Frances Fitzgeral left in utter disgrace the government was practically funereal, she’d saved the government, fallen on her sword, an innocent woman, etc. I hate it.

    2. Martco

      you’re mostly dealing with people who by nature (esp. if they’ve landed a ministerial seal) have sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies. basically no.

      1. anne

        Yeah….Leo Vladkar lying to a woman with a very sick child – Vera Twomey.. about the legislation on medicinal THC. Cretins the lot of them.

  4. dav

    he’s only sorry he got caught. I wonder how much it costs to have a minister’s mobile number on speed dial??

    1. Martco

      well spotted @dav

      I do think WE’RE to blame for all this

      we permit this system of lobbying in the first place to exist

      members of Dáil Éireann would never bring laws to ban it because they love it…doing business Irish schtyle

      much the same as we permit the INSANE rules around their pensions &
      other employment matters

      we can’t expect turkeys to vote for xmas

  5. Frilly Keane

    Naughton will have to apologise to Catherine Murphy and the Dail

    and that will be that

    and whatever ye do don’t mention his handling of the Broadband tender process
    ’cause then they’ll be loads more nonsense stories dolloped out there for ye to run around until ye’re dizzy

    It’s the oh look you’re flying low….. strategy

  6. Ron

    FG will pussyfoot around on this one for a while. They will eventually decide Naughten has to go but only after FF take the confidence and supply agreement to the edge and threaten no confidence motion. It won’t be pretty and will again expose the ineptitude and skullduggery that has characterised every political party in Ireland. They are all scoom bags. I’m just surprised it’s taken this long for Denis to be exposed as the incapable, inept, smug faced fool that he is. There should be a revolution on the streets by Irish citizens. Irish citizens don’t care enough to do anything… So carry on

    1. Catherine costelloe

      Irish citizens are worn out from Tribunals and loss of hope in ethics in public office I think.

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