A troop-rallying video for this Saturday’s Right 2 Water protest in Dublin city centre comprising images of recent local protests around the country (including Dundalk above)
Enda Kenny Forrest Gump by Alan Silvestri.
Water stress by Country: 2040.
Thanks Nelly Bergman
From top: Eamon Gilmore and Richard Bruton ; Dan Boyle
President Mary Davis.
Taoiseach Richard Bruton.
Two Greens in cabinet.
An alternative history.
By Dan Boyle:
June 2007. The Green Party negotiators were chastened on withdrawing from talks on the formation of a government, but they wouldn’t be asked back to the table by Fianna Fáil.
Bertie Ahern, who wanted the assurance of additional Green votes, was re-elected Taoiseach by the members of the outgoing government, which included the much reduced Progressive Democrats and the gene pool independents.
Within a year testimony at the Mahon Tribunal had undone Ahern. Brian Cowen was elected leader of Fianna Fáil by acclamation.
Before being elected as Taoiseach Cowen sought talks with the new Labour Party leader, Eamon Gilmore. Stressing the need for a government with a stronger majority, he also stated that the 1993-94 government was one he felt was working and he wanted to re-establish that ‘natural’ relationship.
In June 2008 the second FF/Labour government was formed. The PDs and gene pool independents were jettisoned.
Eamon Gilmore was to be Tánaiste one of four Labour Party ministers with an additional five Labour Ministers of State. Brian Lenihan was appointed Minister for Finance.
One of the Labour’s conditions for entering government was an immediate budget, the effect of which was to greatly increase public expenditure.
The PDs, who had been discussing winding down the party, select Liz O’Donnell, now in the Seanad, as their new leader.
The Dáil had barely reconvened to consider the finance bill when a meeting was requested by the heads of the major financial institutions, to discuss fears of threats to the liquidity of banks.
The meeting hosted by Brian Cowen, was also attended by Brian Lenihan and Eamon Gilmore. It decides the government should introduce an all embracing bank guarantee.
Huge adjustments needed to be made to the finance bill, which included the introduction of a new universal social charge on gross income.
Whatever public goodwill was held by the government quickly dissipated. In the Local and European elections in 2009, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin were the big winners. Brian Crowley was the only FF MEP elected. Labour failed to win a seat. In Dublin, Eamon Ryan won a seat again for The Greens.
In the the resulting Dublin South by-election Liz O’Donnell returned to the Dáil.
Despite successful midterm elections a push against Enda Kenny begins in Fine Gael, where mumblings grow over his parliamentary performance. This results in Richard Bruton becoming leader. He appoints Lucinda Creighton as his deputy.
Labour in government tries to push a social change agenda and forces a referendum on Blasphemy, which passes, while also introducing civil partnership.
Public finances continue to deteriorate. By the middle of 2010 negative noises from Europe force the government to apply to the International Monetary Fund.
Collectively FF and Labour determine to serve full term to seek to regain lost public trust.
In 2011 the government selects Michael D. Higgins as a joint candidate. He loses to independent candidate Mary Davis.
Under the tutelage of the Trioka a number of measures are introduced, including water charges and a property tax. Three quarters of the budget adjustment is achieved by the time of the general election in 2012. The sad death of Brian Lenihan had seen Michéal Martin take over the Finance portfolio.
There is no political benefit. FF loses half its seats, Labour slips into single figures. Fine Gael, and to a lesser extent Sinn Féin, are again the big winners. Three Greens and two PDs were elected along with fifteen others. Michéal Martin becomes leader of Fianna Fáil.
Fine Gael, by far the largest party, forms a government with nine Labour and three Green TDs. Joan Burton becomes Tánaiste but is one of only two Labour cabinet ministers. Trevor Sargent becomes Minister for the Environment, with his colleague John Gormley a new Minister for State with responsibility for development aid.
Within six months of the new government the Trioka withdrew and Ireland came out of the IMF programme. Despite engaging in austerity light the new government was soon enjoying similar unpopularity levels as its predecessor. The Local and European elections of 2014 were not kind to any of the government parties.
By 2015 talk of a new political party being established and being successful was reaching a crescendo. The government’s main hopes to regain public support were for the country’s rugby team to win the World Cup, and for a new national spirit being found during the centenary 1916 celebrations…
Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD. Follow him on Twitter: @sendboyle
Was it for this, etc.
Deb Molloy writes:
I know you never do this, but a lady left a bag with personal items in a Dublin Bike basket on Charlemont Place (outside the Hilton). I tried to find her (along with another Dublin Bike user, many thanks to him) but to no avail. I think she may have got on the Luas at the Charelemont Stop, but I am not sure. Could you please help reunite the bag with the owner?
From top: The Moriarty Report Part 2, 2011; Anne-Marie McNally
When strong evidence of alleged corruption is presented and amassed at great cost and nothing happens perhaps the process itself is corrupt?
Anne Marie McNally writes:
We spend a lot of our time on this little island decrying the lack of hard-line action on white collar crime. We bandy the word corruption around quite a lot but how do we define corruption and are we really victims of it or just some bad nudge, nudge, wink, wink, behaviour?
Convictions for corruption are not unheard of but they are very few and far between.The most recent and possibly highest profile case was that of a former Fine Gael Councillor in Waterford who was found guilty of receiving €80,000 in payments from a property developer and sentenced to six years in prison with two suspended. Interestingly, the property developer who made the corrupt payments had no such inconvenience.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines corruption as ‘dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery’ – seems pretty self-explanatory and straightforward doesn’t it? In Ireland, The Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-2010 define corruption as ‘any payment offered or received in order to influence a public official‘.
The various Acts do not require actual proof that the transaction ultimately secured a contract or a licence but rather just evidence that information pertaining to a State contract or licence was provided or that a public official was influenced in any way.
One of the 2011 findings of the Moriarty Tribunal was that Michael Lowry TD provided substantive information to Denis O’Brien which was “of significant value to him in securing the (2nd mobile phone) licence.”
With that in mind, carefully recall the definition above as laid out in the Prevention of Corruption Act 2010. So why has there been no legal action on foot of the Moriarty findings?
A little understood fact regarding the Moriarty tribunal is that the conclusions are merely opinions. Opinions, it must be stated, which are vehemently rejected by both Denis O’Brien and Michael Lowry.
However, for any further action to come from the findings of the tribunal the Gardaí would be required to uncover actual evidence through a new investigation because any evidence presented to a tribunal of Inquiry cannot be used to secure a criminal conviction against a witness from that Tribunal!
A lot of flak has been aimed at the DPP for its failure to act on Moriarty but in reality the DPP is not permitted to act on alleged offences and she would need to be presented with evidence from the Gardaí that actual wrong-doing has taken place in order to proceed with any actions.
So are the Gardaí currently working on presenting this evidence, if it exists? Well, in short, no. Yes they apparently carried out an initial investigation led by the Criminal Assets Bureau chief but at the moment the official line is that they are still waiting for guidance from the DPP as to whether or not to proceed with a full investigation.
But wait, what was that bit earlier about the office of the DPP needing the Gardaí to bring them evidence in order to proceed? I’m as confused as you are and as, it seems, are Government because it has rolled out the same PQ reply on numerous occasions which basically states that the Gardaí are awaiting direction from the DPP as to how to proceed.
Whoever is dropping the ball on this one may be unclear, but what is very clear is the original players in this sorry saga are getting on with their careers and business interests unperturbed by those pesky meddling kids on the tribunal benches.
Anne-Marie McNally is a Political and media strategist working with Catherine Murphy TD and The Social Democrats. Opinions expressed may not necessarily be shared by her employers. Follow her on Twitter: @amomcnally
All this for a tenner.
Brendan Carey writes:
Hi Folks, Glaslough in Co.Monaghan, home to Castle Leslie Estate is hosting its first Music Festival next Saturday the 29th August. Its called The Park After Dark and will see a host of bands and artists from electronic folk to blues. To top it all off it will all take place under a full moon.