Category Archives: Misc


Did you spliff stay up?

A ‘high’ five to, clockwise from top left: Olga Cronin, Mari Maxwell, Johnny keenan and Izzy Kamikaze, our panel on last night’s Broadsheet on the Telly.

The show can be viewed in its entirety above.

Subjects carefully rolled up included the Sisters of Charity and how to get religion out of healthcare plus an all-too brief toke talk about 420.

Next Monday, we will be hosting a Whistleblower Special. If you would like to take part in this or other shows please send email with a short bio to marked Broadsheet on the Telly.

Thanks all.

Last night: Broadsheet on the Telly Tonight

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From top: Garda Tony Golden; Screengrabs from last night’s RTE Investigates

Last night.

Paul Murphy, of RTÉ’s Investigates, revisited the shooting of Garda Tony Golden and Siobhan Phillips by Adrian Crevan Mackin in Omeath, County Louth, on October 11, 2015.

Father-of-three Tony died in the shooting while Siobhan was left blind in one eye. Adrian, aged 25, took his own life shortly after the shooting.

Mr Murphy outlined the following events concerning Mackin.

2008: Mackin received probation for criminal damage.

2012: Mackin received a suspended sentence for possessing 23 images of extreme pornography.

December 2013: Mackin received a three-year suspended sentence for possessing a gun and ammunition

January 2015: The FBI informed gardaí from the Special Detective Unit on Dublin’s Harcourt Street that Mackin was buying weapons online. The FBI gave gardaí a list of weapons that Mackin bought over a two-year period.

Following this, the gardaí obtained a warrant stating they believed Mackin had six guns in his possession and other material to make explosives.

It also stated:

“Mr Mackin has also made enquiries with undercover agents in the FBI, USA to import Ricin, a highly toxic poison, with the intent of killing a Social Services Officer from Northern Ireland.”

January 16, 2015: At least 16 gardai from the Special Detectives Unit, some or all armed, went to Mackin’s house in Otmeath to execute this warrant. The gardai found material for making pipe bombs and gallons of sulphuric and nitric acid.

Mackin was taken into custody and, according to transcripts of the Garda interviews obtained by Mr Murphy, Mackin was asked if he was a member of the IRA, and he said ‘No, I’m not’. He was then asked if he has ever been a member of the IRA and he said, ‘No’.

Mackin was then asked another 27 questions about the IRA and he responded, ‘No comment’.

In a second Garda interview, Mackin was asked had he ever prepared explosives in his home and if he knew what a  pipe bomb was. He answered ‘No’ to both questions.

January 17, 2015: Then, during the fifth Garda interview, as gardai showed him a list of paypal transactions, Mackin admitted to buying bomb-making materials over the internet, including the sulphuric and nitric acid.

He also admitted to buying parts for six guns online. And when he was asked if he bought them for IRA use, he said ‘No’.

He maintained he was not a member of IRA.

However, the DPP ordered that Mackin be charged with membership of the IRA, and not with any firearms offences such as gun possession, or importing weapons parts – which he admitted.

He was sent to Portlaoise Prison to await bail. His initial bail was cut from €20,000 to €5,000 and, ten days after he was arrested, he was out.

After this point, Mackin’s mental health deteriorated, and he started to assault his girlfriend Siobhan Philips regularly.

In addition, Mackin told his sister that he was ‘a marked man’ and that ‘it was only a matter of time’. He believed dissident republicans believed he was an informer.

October 9, 2015: Mackin beat Siobhan intermittingly over 12 hours, cutting her arm and legs with a bread knife.

The next day, Norma Phillips – wife of Siobhan’s father Sean – collected Siobhan from her workplace. Norma told Mr Murphy that Siobhan said she was afraid Mackin was going to kill her.

Norma and Sean took Siobhan to Dundalk Garda station but a garda there said he wouldn’t take a statement as Siobhan could have had a ‘brain injury’. He then told them to go to Otmeath station. The guard also said he’d arrange a meeting between them and Garda Tony Golden for the following day.

October 11, 2015: Siobhan went to Otmeath station where she gave a statement to while Norma and Sean waited outside. At this point Garda Golden said it was time for Siobhan to get her stuff from her and Mackin’s home and leave him.

Siobhan went with Sean to the house – a two minutes’  drive from the Garda station – while Garda Golden drove up separately.

Siobhan spotted Mackin’s car outside the house. Garda Golden and Siobhan got out of their respective cars and went into the house while Sean waited outside.

Sean said as the door was open, he could hear what happened. He said Mackin asked them what they were doing at the house, Garda Golden said they were there to collect Siobhan’s stuff and then Mackin shot Siobhan four times, shot Garda Golden and then turned the gun on himself.

Norma Phillips told Mr Murphy:

“I certainly can’t, at any level, accept that Tony Golden knew what lay ahead for him or would have had any knowledge that this guy had guns or access to weapons.”


But, Mr Murphy said, other gardaí did.

“Nine months earlier, during questioning Mackin told detectives that he had access to weaponry including parts for two Glock pistols, the model used to kill Tony Golden. He even admitted to storing guns at a derelict cottage in Louth a few hundred yards from the Border.”

Mr Murphy explained that Mackin told his sister and solicitor that he showed gardai his cache of weapons parts and guns, partly in exchange for not being charged with firearms offences and only being charged with IRA membership.

Watch back in full here


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21/04/2017. Irish Citizenship Ceremony. Pictured (LtoR) Shela and Zimena Cafferos Rios originally  from Mexico living in Dublin joined thousands of people taking part in the Citizenship ceremonies in Dublins Convention Center today. Three Citizenship Ceremonies will be held in the Convention Centre in Dublin with over 3000 candidates originating from over 120 countries expected to attend. Photo: Sam Boal/

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21/04/2017. Irish Citizenship Ceremony. Pictured Nichakun Plaengeli originally from Thailand living in Dublin joined thousands of people take part in the Citizenship ceremonies in Dublins Convention Center today. Three Citizenship Ceremonies will be held in the Convention Centre in Dublin with over 3000 candidates originating from over 120 countries expected to attend. Photo: Sam Boal/

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21/04/2017. Irish Citizenship Ceremony. Pictured thousands of people take part in the Citizenship ceremonies in Dublins Convention Center today. Three Citizenship Ceremonies will be held in the Convention Centre in Dublin with over 3000 candidates originating from over 120 countries expected to attend. Photo: Sam Boal/


21/04/2017. Irish Citizenship Ceremony. Pictured (LtoR) Clarisse Coelko originally from Brazil living in Co Tipperary and Sasko Lazarov originally from Macedonia living in Dublin joined thousands of people taking part in the Citizenship ceremonies in Dublins Convention Center today. Three Citizenship Ceremonies will be held in the Convention Centre in Dublin with over 3000 candidates originating from over 120 countries expected to attend. Photo: Sam Boal/

This morning/afternoon.

National Convention Centre, Dublin

Three Citizenship Ceremonies took place in the one ceremony with over 3000 candidates originating from over 120 countries gaining the right to an Irish passport and all that that brings.

From top: Maria Navaed with daughters Rannaya and Sarina originally from Pakistan Shela and Zimena Cafferos Rios originally from Mexico; Michael and Pauline Mokwe originally from Cameroon; Nichakun Plaengeli originally from Thailand; Prince Babu with Juan, Jemimia and Jenita); from left: Joan Sheehan, Irma Fleming, Marilyn Donoso and Michelle Canadilla all originally from the Philippines; Elena with her son Michael Ermyki originally from Russia; Carolina Coronado originally Venezuela; Clarisse Coelko originally from Brazil and Macedonia-born photographer Sasko Lazarov (no stranger to ‘sheet readers).



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From top: Simon Coveney, Richard Bruton and Leo Varadkar; Tony Groves

We have a Rental Crisis in this country. I’m not talking about the, Daft Rental Crisis, although that certainly is a Crisis. A small bedroom, as part of a house-share at €900 per month is a Crisis. But the Rent Crisis I’m referring to is caused by what economists call Rent-Seeking.

A Rent-Seeker is a person or entity that seeks to increase their share of wealth, without actually creating any wealth.

Rent-Seekers look to use their wealth and influence to reduce economic efficiency in a way that will increase the value of their particular pot of gold. The best Rent-Seekers find ways to take something that used to be free and introduce a charge for it.

Sound familiar?

It’s important to note that not all Rent-Seekers are Big Multinational Companies, Banks or Private Healthcare Companies; although many of these are. There are less obvious Rent-Seekers all around us.

Politically they tend to be Right Wing Capitalists who espouse Libertarian, Free Market Views. But ideologically they are Selectively Libertarian and are only interested in freeing up the market to their advantage. They tend to say nasty things about the Left and label anybody who talks of tackling inequality as “grasping, deluded, spiteful and envious“.

Many of them, like Leader in Waiting, Leo Varadkar tend to air their extreme Right Wing views by suggesting we privatise 20 Dublin Bus Routes, or suggest migrant workers should only receive 3 months dole as an incentive to leave. But he quickly glosses over his Far Right leanings by mentioning equality of opportunity in an Irish Independent puff piece.

Rent-Seekers are the ‘Haves’ in our Society. They have accumulated wealth without creating any. Generational Landlords and the like. Many of them sit in the Dáil. How can you expect Rent-Seeking Politicians to seriously tackle the Rental Crisis they are benefiting from?

These fake free marketeers are, for the most part, liars. They are all for the free market when it comes to eroding public services. They are all for the free market, with incentives, when it comes to their particular fiefdoms. The Construction Industry Federation spends more money on lobbying than the Construction Industry those on building Lobbies.

Why? It’s quite simple. If you need to invest one million euro in “incentives” in order to game the free market, but stand to make a billion euro from the rejig then why not! Think it’s a miracle we aren’t more corrupt? Have a read of the Tullock Paradox.

Think about it. 50% of Irish workers earn less than €30,000. By 2014 we had the highest percentage of Low Paid Workers in the OECD. Most workers have suffered wage stagnation for a decade. Yet there are 7,000 new Irish Millionaires in 2016. How does this happen? Rent-Seekers.


Rent-Seekers and or free market libertarians decry the Welfare State. They should celebrate it. Cormac Lucey, Chairman of the Hibernia Forum likes to use the above Gini Index to show inequality isn’t that bad. What he fails to mention is that  our spending on Welfare lifts the lower paid out of extreme poverty.

He neglects to say that the Welfare Bill is a bargain. It’s a small price to pay in order to avoid things like a wealth tax, or a fair Corporation Tax. The Welfare bill keeps the pressure off the Rent-Seekers. If these state supports weren’t in place Paddy would really want to know who isn’t playing fair.

A total of 1.9 million people receive some payment from the Department of Social Protection, Pensioners, Carers, and Job-seekers etc. This is down from 2.2 million in 2013. The total spend is €19 billion per year. In other words the same amount of money the EU Commission say Apple owes us in back taxes and interest. Yet Leo Varadkar launched a “hard-hitting” publicity campaign regarding Welfare Cheats!

Ask a fake free market libertarian, their views on immigration. Watch them tell you that only markets should be free, people should be restricted because of a quirk of birthplace and some lines drawn on a map a few hundred years ago.

Ask a fake free market libertarian, their views on a wealth tax, or wealth redistribution. Watch them call you a Communist and insist that they gained their wealth via some sort of talent that makes them better than you or I.

A real Free Market Libertarian, Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan, advocates for the Free Market as a fair and just way for people to deal with each other.

He advocates for a Free Market that includes the free movement of people. In his own words “the single greatest loss to the world right now is the talent trapped in poor countries, where they can only function at a small fraction of their potential productivity”.

Think of all that untapped potential, stuck because of people/corporations (who espouse equality of opportunity) are Rent-Seeking. Think of the wealth creation missed out upon because fake free market libertarians are busy rigging the system, domestically and globally, to grow their percentage share of the pie.

The fake free market libertarians are the like the new politics. They create and do nothing productive. They generate no new innovations and inhibit real entrepreneurial spirits. They limit competition in their fields.

They are Leo Varadkar, hinting at tax cuts for the wealthy, while punching down at those on Social Welfare. They are Simon Coveney, worried about EU Water Fines, but unconcerned about EU Emissions Fines.

They are Vertex Pharmaceutical, charging €159,000 per patient, per year for Orkambi. They are Irish Retail Banks with Mortgage Interest Rates 2.5% above the EU average. They are the Rent-Seekers.

But yeah, equality of opportunity and stuff. Am I right, Right Wingers?

Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld



Further to the Religious Sisters of Charity getting ‘sole ownership’ of the new National Maternity Hospital.

And the online petition, against the move, that has gained more than 75,000 names…

And the Sisters of Charity basing their decision not to pay redress to the Magdalene survivors based on the findings of the McAleese Report…

Readers may wish to recall the following reported by Conor Ryan and Clare O”Sullivan, in the Irish Examiner, back in February 2013…

The Sisters of Charity made €63m in sell-offs during the boom of which €45m came from the 2001 deal for land around its former laundry in Donnybrook, Dublin.

Last year, the Religious Sisters of Charity, who amassed a €233m property portfolio, said they could not afford to release €3m it promised to put into a trust fund for the victims of institutional child abuse.

The order blamed the decision to reduce its cash offer by 60% on the poor property market.

In 2009, when they supplied details of their assets to the Government, it had financial interests of €33m and sold €63m of property in 10 years. The order said it needed to set aside €38.6m to care for its 264 sisters.

Substantial assets, but no more cash for redress (Irish Examiner, February 2013)

Pic: Gloucester Street Magdalenes via Limerick Museum


A petition set up on Tuesday night by Denise Kieran on Uplift against the Sisters of Charity gaining ‘sole ownership’ of the new National Maternity Hospital has just passed the 75,000-signature target.

Make it 100,000.

Sign here.

Block Sisters of Charity Ad Sole Owners Of National Maternity Hospital (Uplift)

Yesterday Nun As Blind

Meanwhile, At The Department Of Health

68.613 And Counting