Author Archives: Bodger

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Tim O’Leary (right), of the Irish Farmers’ Association

This afternoon.

Tim O’Leary, who is running for president of the Irish Farmers’ Association, following last night’s resignation of Eddie Downey, spoke to Richard Crowley on RTÉ’s News At One earlier.

Mr Downey’s resignation came after it emerged the former IFA general secretary Pat Smith was to get a €2million severance package, on top of a €2.7million pension deal.

Mr O’Leary spoke to Mr Crowley about how the severance deal was struck during a meeting between Mr Smith and Mr Downey.

Grab a tay. Large mug.

Richard Crowley: “Why did Eddie Downey resign?”

Tim O’Leary: “He resigned because the pressure got too much as the controversy was going on, over the package or the deal done with Pat Smith. He felt himself he thought that he could step back and leave the review take place but he felt that things were just not going to work, as long as he remained as president and he took the very honourable decision to resign. And it’s a very difficult decision.”

Crowley: “Did he, but was the straw that broke the camel’s back the deal he did with Pat Smith in relation to his exit package?”

O’Leary: “That made his position very difficult, yes it did.”

Crowley: “Did you know anything about that deal?”

O’Leary: “The exit package?”

Crowley: “Yes.”

O’Leary:I was aware of the figure, after the fact.

Crowley: “Not during the negotiations?”

O’Leary: “No.”

Crowley: “Shouldn’t you?”

O’Leary: “No. Because under the present structures, I was not responsible for that.”

Crowley: “And what about the Treasurer or any other member of the executive board?”

O’Leary:My understanding is nobody else was aware of the deal until it was initially agreed. Now it wasn’t signed off completely because it needed more than one signature. It needed approval from a wider area but certainly…”

Crowley: “From who? From who else?”

O’Leary: “From, I would suspect that the Treasurer would have had to approve it and…”

Talk over each other

Crowley: “You don’t know that for a fact, as of now?”

O’Leary: “I would say yes he would, yes he would.”

Crowley: “OK, but he wasn’t involved in the negotiations?”

O’Leary: “No.”

Crowley: “Were there negotiations?”

O’Leary: “I’m told there were. I’m told there was a discussion about Pat Smith’s position in the organisation and that it had to finish.”

Crowley: “But once that was agreed. Then the business of negotiating his exit package got under way.”

O’Leary: “That’s correct.”

Crowley: “And in that negotiation there was, by the sounds of it, just two men, Eddie Downey, Pat Smith.”

O’Leary:That’s correct.”

Crowley: Is that not ludicrous?

O’Leary: “Well it wasn’t acceptable to the organisation.”

Crowley: “But did you know this was going on last week?”

O’Leary: “I was aware that the discussions were going on, that’s right.”

Crowley: “And you knew it was about money and the exit package for Pat Smith?”

O’Leary: “I would always assume that it would be because it would have to be.”

Crowley: “And did anybody raise an eyebrow about that?”

O’Leary: “Yes.”

Crowley: “And?”

O’Leary: “And it was not agreed.”

Crowley: “How do you mean it was not agreed?”

O’Leary: “By the general, it was not agreed outside of the room where the negotiations went on. It is not acceptable. It is not agreed.”

Crowley: “And at what point did you make that protest?”

O’Leary: “After that agreement.”

Crowley: “But not during?”

O’Leary:We weren’t aware of it during, we weren’t aware of the agreement during the agreement, if I sounds stupid on that now, but you understand what I mean. We have to wait until after the agreement…

Crowley:But did you know they were talking about a package and a package that was in the region of a million up front and €100,000 every year for ten years?

O’Leary: “No.”

Crowley: No. You didn’t know anything about that?

O’Leary:Yes, I knew they were talking about a package. No, I wasn’t aware of the figures.

Crowley: “And had you had heard those numbers, what would your reaction have been?”

O’Leary: “Don’t do it.”

Crowley: “Who else would have known about this? Or who else was in a position to cry foul as this was going on?”

O’Leary: “What was going on? The discussion or the discussion on the numbers?”

Crowley: “The discussion on the numbers and who was involved. Or the exclusion of others.”

O’Leary: “It was, there was no exclusion, it was done by Eddie Downey and Pat Smith.”

Crowley: “Yes but that excluded you and it excluded others on the executive council, didn’t it?”

O’Leary: “I didn’t have a role in that.”

Crowley: “Should you have a role though, that’s the point.”

O’Leary:I was governed by the rules of the organisation.”

Crowley: “And you’re prepared to go along with that. Who set up that system in the first instance by the way?”

O’Leary: “This is a, you know, we’re dealing with an organisation that’s 60 years old right? So we have structures that we inherited from a different time, from a different process and we are changing those. We had a review 10 years ago and we’re having another review now. So, you know, we have to move with the times…”


Crowley: “Did Pat Smith resign? Or was he pushed?”

O’Leary: “Pat Smith resigned, the way I understand it.”

Crowley: “And so was it then open to the IFA or to Eddie Downey, specifically, to negotiate a better package from the point of view of the IFA and from your subscribers than the one that was eventually offered to Pat Smith?”

O’Leary: “I don’t know that, I wasn’t in the room with Eddie, so I don’t know what went on but I know that Eddie would do his best for the organisation. I think that it was probably a very difficult situation to be in. I think that, in hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have been in the room on his own, if you want me to say what I really think. But, you know…”

Crowley: “Did you have a legal advisor there?”

O’Leary: “He had legal advice, I think, yes.”

Crowley: “And Pat Smith, presumably?”

O’Leary: “I don’t know who was in the room. But I know that Eddie had legal advice.”

Crowley: “But the nub of it now is that the IFA is going to challenge this in the courts if you have to?”

O’Leary: “Yes. Well the nub of it now is that the IFA is not agreeing to any severance package.”

Crowley: “I beg your pardon, I missed that. Sorry.”

O’Leary: “The nub of it now is that the Irish Farmers’ Association is not agreeing to any severance package with Pat Smith.”

Crowley: “So, no signature was put on a piece of paper, on the night in question, when the deal was done between Pat Smith and Eddie Downey.”

O’Leary: “That’s not what I said. What I said is the nub of it now is the IFA is not agreeing with any severance package…”

Crowley: “I know but my question to you was: was…”

O’Leary: “It wasn’t enough to tie the deal down completely.”

Crowley: “Because, is there another signature missing?”

O’Leary: “Because there was more required. It needed legal, it needed legal oversight and stuff like that but there was more required, yeah. The treasurer would have had to have signed as well and he was not prepared to sign, in fairness.”

Listen back in full here

Tim O’Leary runs for IFA president (Irish Farmers Journal)

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Hugh Rodgers writes:

“Hoping you’ll share our film on John Kavanagh – fight trainer to The Notorious Conor McGregor, SBG Ireland owner, and all-round inspirational nice guy. The film captures a glimpse of his story, from a quiet childhood to international success in the UFC both with his fight team and his gym, revealing his positive spirit and inspirational philosophy on life inside and outside of the octagon.”

“It was made as part of a project called ‘1 of 6′ – a series of magazines, each with accompanying short documentary films, that showcases the life and work of unique Dublin characters.”

“This is the first of six instalments celebrating Dublin and its inhabitants, bringing to life the charm and character of our capital city and its influence on the people who live and work here. Each edition will take a core theme and explore it through conversation. In this issue we talk to people that challenge convention, champion the everyday and face adversity with tenacity.”

Project 1 of 6 is spearheaded by Mark Shiels of Form


A decent gaff in Dublin.

No seriously.

Francis Doherty writes:

‘Moving on’ is a short film that tells the story of two young people in homelessness and follows them as they prepare to move into their own homes.These new homes were former local authority voids, vacant for a number of years, which were then renovated by Peter McVerry Trust with funding from [building material firm] Saint Gobain Ireland. The project resulted in 6 apartments for people in homeless services.

Peter McVerry Trust


Visit these buildings (above).

Free this Saturday

Christmas on Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Niall writes:

Christmas On The Square happens this Saturday with craft, food and drink markets, Santa, talks, performances, screenings and more indoors in the houses of Merrion Square. All free events but some ticketed.

Events include: Dublin’s Christmas Past with the ‘Come Here To Me’ bloggers; An Ancient Christmas Carol Singing Workshop; Le Père Noël screening, presented by The French Embassy; Pop-Up Café with Luncheonette; Lunchtime Talks: Aoife Carrigy talks to a selection of Irish cookbook authors, AND Vinyl Love playing Christmas tunes!

Christmas On Merrion Square

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Claire Cullen-Delsol and her husband Wayne with their stillborn daughter Alex

Further to calls for a repeal of the Eight Amendment.

Ellen Coyne, in the Ireland edition of The Times, reports:

Claire Cullen-Delsol, 31, a mother of two from Waterford city, had to wait over a month for her daughter’s heartbeat to stop naturally before she could end a pregnancy that had no medical chance of succeeding.

Ms Cullen-Delsol and her husband, Wayne, have an eight-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old son. In August, twenty weeks into her pregnancy, she was told that Alex, her second daughter, would not survive because of a chromosome disorder.

…Ms Cullen-Delsol said that travelling for an abortion seemed too traumatic, so her only choice was to wait until the baby died.

“During those five weeks I could still feel her moving inside me, and every week the movement would get less and less — she was dying inside me,” she said. “Sometimes when I couldn’t feel her moving I would drink something cold and then something hot, and then I might try loud music, and then I might jump around to see if she’d move, just to be sure.

“I would wake up every day and say, ‘Is it going to be today? Is today going to be the day she dies?’”

“…There were times when I’d have to leave the house to go shopping, because the kids needed to eat, and I might see a mother with a baby and just have to abandon the trolley and go home. It was absolute torture. There were days when I would have to call people for help. My daughter started begging her dad not to go to work, because she could hear me crying after he left.

She added: “One night I woke up, and there was a complete stillness unlike anything I could describe. There was no movement. I knew she was gone.”

‘I had to wait for my baby to die inside me’ (Ellen Coyne, Ireland edition of The Times, no paywall)

Pic: Claire Cullen Delsol

Thanks Richard


Professor John McHale, of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council at the publication of its ninth Fiscal Assessment Report in Dublin.

The Government had deviated from a “prudent path” to use an unexpected bounty of revenues sourced from corporate tax receipts, even though it was still not totally clear whether these revenues could be relied upon in the future.

The additional spending had the effect of adding to the spending base in framing of the budget sums for 2016.

Presenting the supplementary budget so late, the Government had “deviated” from the path of financial prudence and had increased the risk that the State would fail to meet the new budget oversight rules from Brussels from 2016.

As the country adapts to the legacy of the bust, [Professor John] McHale said that the risks facing the country have been well documented “because we are going to be living with the high-debt crisis for some time”.

Irish Fiscal Advisory Council slams 2015 spending splurge (Irish Examiner)


“We now have a target to reduce our borrowing as a percentage of national income to below 3% for next year. That will be delivered.”

“And Fine Gael and the government as a whole will continue to adopt the most sensible approach possible to our national economy because we want to make sure that the spending behaviour of the past does not wreck the recovery that is now underway.”

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe responds for the government.

Minister insists government’s economic policy is sensible (Newstalk)