Category Archives: Misc

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Earlier today.

During Leaders’ Questions.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked about former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Seán Fitzpatrick being acquitted of furnishing false information to Anglo’s auditors.

The acquittal followed solicitor with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) Kevin O’Connell admitting that he had destroyed documents relevant to the criminal proceedings against Mr FitzPatrick, among other matters.

During Leaders’ Questions, Mr Kenny said:

“The ODCE is a statutory independent body. Its mother Department, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, has no responsibility or power of enforcement. The ODCE takes its own legal advice. There were gardaí attached to the ODCE in the beginning but they were not involved in the way this case was taken. The judge did point out that the most fundamental error was the way in which they went about taking evidence from the auditors of Anglo Irish Bank, who were both from the firm of accountants involved.

He said that it was intended that their statements would be taken in the normal way by members of the Garda Síochána who were then attached to the ODCE. Instead, however, the statements were obtained through solicitors from a legal firm.

The ODCE pointed out that it has now undergone substantial organisational change and that it was simply not equipped to undertake parallel investigations on the scale involved. I want to say this: I have not spent the past six years as head of Government and making very difficult decisions only to hear again now the allegation in respect of white-collar crime that people can walk away, that nobody is guilty and that nothing is being done about it.

“Let us, as a Parliament, decide what we must do with an organisation like the ODCE. I can confirm that when the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Bruton, had responsibility for jobs, requests by the ODCE to his then Department for resources were granted. Now I find that the ODCE says it was simply not equipped to take parallel investigations on the scale involved.

I can confirm that the Minister has asked the Director of Corporate Enforcement for a full report, including on the role of all professionals involved in this case. That report will cover the issues involved since 2008 when this case commenced – almost ten years ago. Nothing is ruled out.

“When Deputy Catherine Murphy had her full group, she put forward a proposition for a statutory standing body in the Dáil to deal with matters of corruption and so on.”

“The Minister will bring this before Government in due course. The Government will consider it next week, but I want the Minister to carry out an absolute review of what happened. It is not good enough.”

Sigh.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Earlier: A Moment Of Panic

She’ll hold you nice and cosy.

Eimear wins tickets to see Wallis Bird (above on the cover of new album ‘Home’) at the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, County Kildare on June 3 with this heartfelt wish:

“I am a genuine fan of Wallis Bird and would love to see her because she’s got this third, giant hand that everyone is standing on throughout her gigs and she holds ya nice and cosy and tight in there or she shakes it around like a dance floor with springs. And both are exhilarating.”

FIGHT!

Thanks all.

Wallis Bird at the Riverbank

Yesterday: Free Bird

Thanks Eric

The ever-growing, satirical response to the Manchester-inspired #BritishThreatLevel thread in which British tweeters share their nightmare imagined scenarios.

This afternoon.

Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Minister for Social Protection and Fine Gael leadership candidate Leo Varadkar with Fine Gael supporters after he launched his party policy document, ‘Taking Fine Gael Forward’, as part of his campaign for the Fine Gael Leadership.

He thinks it’s all over.

Any excuse.

Yesterday: ‘They’re Loud And They’re Growing’

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

…On the RTÉ news the other evening he warned that the Left are getting louder now, like as if opposition is some kind of danger to, rather than a feature of, a healthy democracy.

But Varadkar sees opposition as a growing threat, apparently not realising that the opposition is expanding in direct proportion to his madly right-wing moves; moves like talking about restricting the unions right to strike, and inciting hatred against a social group held up as a scapegoat for the troubles of the country. It falls to Fianna Fáil, wouldn’t you know it, to pull the plug on his bid for power.

But will they?

All Leo Varadkar’s arguments appear to depend in the end on believing that some group or other is to blame for our troubles, except the bankers, the politicians, the corporate billionaires and so on.

His arguments don’t roll naturally either, like arguments would coming from a person with a sound worldview, arrived at through careful thought.

This is perhaps why he resorts so easily to smearing .. It’s because he doesn’t have a genuine argument or vision, only a deep-seated middle-class prejudice against people not like himself.

More worryingly though, he often sounds like a well-coached parrot, with no depth to his pronouncements, like he is just another Fine Gael false front. This time a right-wing marionette.

We Need To Talk About Leo (Eamonn Kelly, You Can’t Say That)

Meanwhile…

This afternoon.

Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, and Fine Gael leadership candidate Simon Covene signs the Youth Pledge with Young Fine Gael.

This pledge calls on candidates to “promote policies that will benefit young people in Ireland”.

Seem familiar?

Fight, etc.

Rollingnews

 

SON – Piece of my Heart

Susan O’Neill (SON) and band  perform a Janis Joplin cover at Woodstock.

Susan writes:

Visiting the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel. upstate New York I had to stop and sing a snippet of Janis Joplin. Behind us is the legendary field where it all took place.

Don’t take the brown acid!

SON has been confirmed as the support act for Sharon Shannon at the National Concert Hall on August 17.

SON

Video by Colin Shanahan

Tonight.

At MVP.

On Upper Clanbrassil Street in Dublin 8.

Gavin Timlin, of CreateSound, writes:

I know you don’t normally do this, but… We’re running a free event @MVP tonight at 7pm (CreateSound Social) to support local producers and hopefully help boost some more home-grown electronic music.

All welcome, from bedroom producers, to people just interested in having a gander. Chat, collaborate, have a mooch. There’ll be demos and live performances from: Daithí, Ronan Marr and Caz9.

DJ’ing Irish electronic either side, and people can bring their own productions on a USB key if they like and we’ll shtick them on.

CreateSound Social (Facebook)

Van and Jim jam (with Holmes on sax)

Lizard King and Van the Man on one stage.

Niall N writes:

Them & The Doors jamming together at The Whisky-A-Go-Go back in June 1966. The Doors were the support act for Van Morrison’s group between June 2-18th 1966…

But what were they playing?

Light my Ire? People Are Grumpy?

Suggestions below.

The Doors Interactive History: 1966

From top: Kevin O Connell from the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; RTÉ Prime Time‘s David McCullagh and Dearbhail McDonald last night

“We [Irish Independent] actually knew back in 2015 that this particular prosecution of Sean Fitzpatrick was in serious trouble and serious jeopardy but we couldn’t report it at that time.

Back in 2015, legal argument came in the absence of a jury about key aspects of the trial and one of those included the manner in which statements were taken from two key witnesses Vincent Bergin and Kieran Kelly who were audit partners in Ernst & Young which we now know as EY.

But I suppose what I recall as the most staggering event possibly in 2015 was the day we were in court and the day that it emerged that the lead investigator Kevin O’Connell who was a solicitor, who wasn’t experie-, he was a solicitor for the ODCE and in charge of this investigation but he wasn’t overly experienced in dealing with serious indictable offences, he didn’t have much experience in the taking of witness statements.

And he admitted, it emerged, he went home, after six days of cross examanation in the Circuit Court, that he had shredded documents in what he described as a moment of panic when he went back to his office. I think it was the May bank holiday weekend.

And that was absolutely staggering at that point in time. We couldn’t report it because Mr O’Connell, whom the ODCE today revealed had been hospitalised in the immediate aftermath of that revelation for a period of time.

The case ended there and it is only now that the case has concluded, by way of direction of acquittal by the trial judge that we are able to report those facts.”

Dearbhail McDonald, of the Irish Independent on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night.

Meanwhile…

Gardaí are trained in taking witness statements. O’Connell, who was centrally involved, had never taken a witness statement before. The whole process, [Brendan[ Condon [Sean Fitzpatrick’s barrister] said, was “lawyer-led”. It was “statement by committee”, with the statements being constructed as if for civil proceedings. But this was not the commercial court. It was a criminal prosecution and it should have been investigated in the normal way.

Unknown to Condon, when O’Connell was in the witness box answering questions about these matters, the ODCE solicitor had a particular worry on his mind.

What documents should and should not be disclosed to the defence by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was one of the matters Condon was complaining about in his critique of how his client was being treated. O’Connell was worried about the decision not to disclose a particular document to the defence. According to Condon’s later view, that document would have revealed that the DPP was being kept informed as to how O’Connell was going about his work. The decision not to disclose the document, an email, Condon was to say in court in 2016, caused O’Connell to fear that he was going to be “hung out to dry” by the DPP.

O’Connell feared that the DPP was “deliberately suppressing the email”, Condon said, and this caused O’Connell to “panic”.

The banker, the investigator and the shredding of documents (Colm Keena, Irish Times)

Earlier: You Are Free To Go