From top: The Stand with Eamon Dunphy podcast; Kevin Myers
Three weeks ago, Eamon Dunphy posted an interview he carried out with Kevin Myers for his podcast The Stand.
This was prior to the fallout of Mr Myers’ column in The Sunday Times on July 30 and his subsequent sacking for the same.
During the 71-minute interview they discussed The Irish Times and Mr Myers’s time in Northern Ireland, Beirut and Sarajevo.
He told how he wasn’t invited to Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the war memorial in memory of the Irish soldiers killed in World War I, in Islandbridge, Dublin; and how a journalism student told him he was warned not to mention Kevin Myers’ name if he wanted to proceed on his course; and how media/journalism courses in Ireland teach conformity.
He also lamented the lack of “good columnists” in Ireland under the age of 40, or even 50.
From the interview…
Eamon Dunphy: “Now you got the job of writing the Irishman’s Diary in The Irish Times which was very prestigious. You had some very amazing predecessors in that slot, you might tell us about. But it’s quite onerous because I think it’s three or four times a week?
Kevin Myers: “It was five times a week when I started.”
Dunphy: “Tell me who’d done it before.”
Myers: “Well, Patrick Campbell famously.”
Myers: “Not famous anymore. He was a very, very celebrated man in the BBC and a very funny man and, before that, or well, after him, there was Seamus Kelly whom I never knew. He had a reputation for being very irascible but perhaps that was because he was drunk every morning by 11am and he had terminal cancer for a long time, so that would make you irascible.”
“But, it was, I didn’t want to be a diarist, I didn’t want to be a columnist. It seemed to me to be onerous, too onerous. But it was something that was a marking in the absence of anyone else, somebody else, a journalist in the newsroom pool, would be given the diary to write. So I was doing, they were going down well. Douglas…”
Dunphy: “In journalistic parlance, just to make it clear, a marking is a gig.”
Myers: “Yeah. And, I…Douglas Gageby that then edited The Irish Times didn’t like me at all. And made it very evident that he didn’t like me. He didn’t want me to be employed by The Irish Times but the overwhelming impression, decision amongst his, opinion amongst his senior editors around him, I should be employed, he was emphatically against me being employed as a columnist but, again, there was no one else to do the job.”
Readers will recall how the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, led by Judge Kevin O’Higgins, looked into allegations of malpractice made by Sgt Maurice McCabe (top).
After it was published, it emerged that claims made by Noirín O’Sullivan’s senior counsel to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was acting out of malice – were proven to be untrue during the commission.
However, these details weren’t included in Justice O’Higgins’ findings.
Further to this…
The Disclosures Tribunal, led by Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton, is looking at allegations that a smear campaign was conducted against Sgt McCabe by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan – with the knowledge of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – as alleged by the former head of the Garda Press Office, Superintendent David Taylor.
Michael Clifford, in this morning’s Irish Examiner,reported that the head of HR in An Garda Siochana John Barrett has told the Disclosures Tribunal that a member of Garda management told him that they were “going after” Sgt Maurice McCabe in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
It’s reported this occurred before the O’Higgins Commission started in 2015.
In an interview earlier today for Eamon Dunphy’s podcast The Stand, Mr Dunphy spoke to Mr Clifford about this claim and about the Disclosures Tribunal.
At one point they talked about the media in respect of the Disclosures Tribunal and about how some journalists have ignored letters sent to them by the tribunal. The letters were a means for the tribunal to get answers about any possible contact they had with Supt Dave Taylor in respect of Sgt McCabe.
It should be noted that Supt Taylor has provided the tribunal with a waiver of any journalistic privilege and is not claiming privilege over his identification as the source of any information to journalists relating to Sgt McCabe, while similar waivers have been signed by Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
Mr Clifford said:
“The media are going to come under focus very much and, personally, I think it’ll be a good thing for the media because if there are faults within how the media operates then they’ll be aired and hopefully we’ll be able to address them in some way.”
“But 23 journalists were named the last day, at the tribunal, as having had contact with David Taylor at this time and the tribunal has indicated, there are, what you might call, varying degrees of co-operation being extended from members of the media as to whether or not they’ll help.”
They also discussed the matters pertaining to the Garda College.
From top: Intercom outside the offices of Pro 10 Sports Management in a building it shares with other companies on Main Street in Lucan, Dublin; Eamon Dunphy
Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy, Daniel McConnell, political editor of The Irish Examiner, and Catherine O’Halloran, political correspondent of the Irish Daily Star, spoke to Keelin Shanley during the Today with Sean O’Rourke’s Gathering slot.
During their discussion, they talked about the Rio tickets investigation.
Further to reports this week that Pro 10, which was formed in May of last year, was the only company to apply for the Olympic Council of Ireland contract for selling Rio Olympic tickets, and received it five months later…
And that the Brazilian authorities have issued arrest warrants for Pro 10’s three directors Michael Glynn, Eamonn Collins and Ken Murray…
And that the OCI has received €1.7million in public funds in the past four years…
Eamon Dunphy: “I think journalism here has a question to answer, Daniel: Why wasn’t Pro 10, for example, this shadow, apparently, the shadow company – whose directors are football agents, why weren’t they investigated by Irish journalists?”
Daniel McConnell: “Eamon, I’m a political reporter, so..”
Dunphy: “No, but…”
McConnell: “…When this, when this story broke… but I would agree with you. One question I think has to be answered is: How did they get the licence?”
Dunphy: “Yes. Did they get the licence before, did they get the licence from the Olympic Council of Ireland before the company was incorporated?”
Keelin Shanley: “And was there an open tender process?…there’s a lot in that..”
From left: Thomae Kakouli; Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan; UCD’s Dr Julien Mercille (!); Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and Eamon Dunphy
At Buswell’s Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin.
The Greek Solidarity Committee (GCS) held a press conference to explain why it is staging a demonstration in Dublin tomorrow calling on people in Ireland to stand with Greece ahead of their referendum.
Eamon Dunphy (top) and John Delaney in Poznan Slovakia, Poland in 2012
“I think it suggests it was a bit late to the Sopranos. Tony decides that this fella is annoying me, he is giving me grief. He reaches for the cheque book, signs the cheque. There’s $5m, we’ll make it a loan. If you don’t qualify for the next World Cup, will you shut up?
“And John Delaney took it. If John Delaney was chancing his arm, and I think he was, then I think most Irish people would say fair play to him provided the money went into Irish soccer.”
Eamon Dunphy on the ‘Hand of Wad’ controversy.
“How could anyone with any soul or simple respect for their fellow-man put a price on the heartache suffered by Dunne, those fabulous fans and a sport craving probity? How could the FAI consider with a straight face investing that Fifa “loan” into any stadium used by players who dream of reaching a World Cup?
As somebody remarked the day after the game: “It’s not about money. This is about sporting integrity.” Who said that? Step forward John Delaney, chief executive of the FAI…”
Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph Football Correspondent.
From left: Liam Brady, John Giles and Eamon Dunphy at the Church of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock, Co Dublin for the funeral of their RTÉ Sports Colleague Bill O’Herlihy. Mr Giles and Mr Dunphy acted as pallbearers.
From top: Tom McGurk (left) and Brent Pope; Sean O’Rourke; Marty Morrissey (centre) and former GAA President and MEP Sean Kelly (Right).
Eamon Dunphy, Fine Gael TD Simon Harris and Paul Murphy TD were among the guests on Claire Byrne LIve on RTÉ One to discuss ‘political policing’ and a French-style social model for the Irish economy.
Grab a tay.
Simon Harris: “…We often have this debate in Irish media and indeed in Irish politics, Ireland, is it like this country, or Ireland is it like that country? We need to look at each country on its merits. This country now has a scenario where we’ve seen jobs growing. And jobs growing by the way, sometimes is a bit of an abstract comment.
I notice that Eamon [Dunphy] said, ‘oh Enda Kenny, he just wants to make this country the best country in the world with which to do business, but what about making it the best country in the world in which to live’. But one leads to the other, if you don’t actually fix the economy. Now, don’t laugh, because it’s important, Eamon, it’s important for people who do live here in this country, if you don’t actually have a functioning economy, you can’t deliver the services that those women quite correctly talk about.
You’re right in relation to childcare. We didn’t get it right in this country thought during the years of the boom, we didn’t get it right during the Celtic Tiger. We saw children’s allowance go up we did see the introduction of the free pre-school year. The challenge for us now, as the economy recovers, is to finally get it right and actually be able to sustain a recovery, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Claire Byrne: “Okay. If you’re a business owner in France you’re paying 45% on your profits, where as here you’re paying 12 and a half %. Now a lot of that money is going in France to pay for the services you know and it means that families don’t have to pay extortionate rates to go see the doctor and so on.”
Harris: “No, our corporation tax rates in this country is actually higher than the effective corporation tax rates in France, it’s just that our corporation tax rate is very transparent but if you actually look and I heard from some of the self employed people who know this far better than I do and probably far better than anyone else on this panel the cost of creating a job in France is extremely expensive which is actually why we’re seeing their unemployment level now rising and our employment level now falling.”
Byrne: “Okay Eamon, now, good news, Eamon, in Ireland and France is not as pretty a picture as you made it look…”
Eamon Dunphy: “One of the things that Simon said, very contradictory, he said that if you don’t have a functioning economy you can’t provide the services that are in France but just before that he said that France didn’t have a functioning economy, and couldn’t meet its EU commitments. What happened with the €50 billion paid, they’re not going to do it, they’ve refused to abide by the 3% GDP to debt ratio.”
Harris: “They’ve not.”
Dunphy: “That’s the fact, their GDP to debt ratio is 5%.”
Harris: “It’s not.”
Dunphy: “That’s the fact, their GDP to debt ratio is 5%.”
Harris: “They’re not the President of France has opposed…”
Dunphy: “You’re wrong on the facts and your argument is confused.
Harris: “Eamon I attended a Euro… Right, shout me down now.”
Dunphy: “You’re telling me the people who don’t have child care, who don’t have access to the health services that this is a functioning economy, that this is the model, I’m suggesting that the French model is a social model, that there’s more solidarity, that there’s more access to the things that really matter health care child care and help when you fall on hard times. The French are resisting the ECB because they don’t want to destroy the society that they have and all its benefits which you have seen.”
Byrne: “All right, quick response, Simon, then Sinead we’ll come to you.”
Harris: “Eamon had a six and a half minute video. The French president, the French president, as opposed to Eamon, has said that he’s committed to installing €50 billion worth of cuts between 2015 and 2017, he’s the French President, I’m going to take his word. You’re right that they haven’t met their targets, we have met our targets, it’s important to meet your targets in a stable economy. You described this country on the Late Late Show in 2012 as a dump, you said you weren’t very proud to be an Irish man, even worse. I don’t believe it is a dump, I believe there are things we need to do a lot better, an awful lot better, I’m not going to sit here and suggest everything is wonderful, but if we’re going to come up with solutions you’ve got to pay for things the way you pay for things is by creating jobs it creates more tax and reduces the cost of social protection and you can invest that in the country.”
Dunphy: “Well let me ask you a simple question then, when do you envisage we’ll have the kind of society they have in France?”
Harris: “But I’m not sure we want everything that they have in France.”
Byrne: “We want their good stuff.”
Harris: “But we certainly want an improved child care system and Minister Reilly has already put in place a group to report to him by the summer and this isn’t just a group for the sake of a group… Don’t sneer at me.”
Dunphy: “C’mon, is that the same Minister Reilly who was going to fix the health service?”
Harris: “Just listen to me, you’re a great rabble rouser and you’re great at shouting but just listen for one moment. An Interdepartmental group to actually look at the issue with the Department of Jobs, the Department of Finance, the Department of Children and the Department of Health, because as the lady in that audience quite correctly said, as the woman in that audience quite correctly said, is another year of free pre-school better, are tax credits better, we’ve got to get the right answer, we didn’t get it during the Celtic Tiger, we didn’t get it.”
Later (at 27.42)
Paul Murphy TD: “People want taxes to be fair, which means taxes on income, taxes on wealth, taxes on profits, I didn’t see six Gardai going to the homes of any of the three hundred Irish people who have tax accounts, who have bank accounts in Switzerland to avoid taxes…”
Harris: “This isn’t the national broadcaster being used for you to advance your view on an ongoing criminal investigation, this is a discussion about the tax system and how our tax system compares to the tax system in Europe.”
Byrne: “Can I ask you Simon actually, do you want to respond to the earlier allegation that Paul made that what happened to him this morning was political policing?”
Harris: “I want to be very careful with what I say Claire, because I think, firstly, it is an ongoing criminal investigation and I don’t think anyone is making any political points out of this other than Paul.”
Murphy: “Did you know the police were going to my house?”
Harris: “Of course I didn’t know.”
Murphy: “Did Frances Fitzgerald know? Did the Minister for Justice know?”
Harris: “Of course she didn’t.”
Murphy: “And the Garda Commissioner?”
Harris: “You ask me the questions, Deputy Murphy, because this isn’t a water protest now and I get a right to talk. The reality of the situation is, in a democracy, there are rules. In a democracy and just because you’re a TD, just because you’re a senator, just because you’re a member of the Establishment, as you like to call it, doesn’t make you exempt from ongoing criminal investigation. The Gardai made an operational decision, and you should respect that operational decision, and RTE and other broadcasters tend not to second-guess the operational decision.”
Dunphy: “Hang on a minute, hang on a minute, I want to say, I want to say that smacked of a stunt this morning and it’s a sinister development. What happened to Claire Daly when she was taken out of her car late at night, put in handcuffs, her story was leaked, no hold on, this was under your government’s watch…”
Byrne: “We’re going to leave this here, it’s an ongoing investigation, we’re going to leave it there. We’re going to come back to what you were originally talking about, which was the taxation system here in Ireland and Eamon, you wanted to come in, Paul was talking about austerity and by diverting money to pay bondholders as he put it.”
Dunphy: “Well we had a man here Bill Black last week, an American. He’s an American regulator. Regulator with vast experience of the savings and loan crisis and how America dealt with that and he said the night of the bank guarantee it was the biggest own goal in history. So we have burnt a lot of money, and it isn’t just the present government but the previous government as well, the Labour Party, the Green Party, the PDs, all of these people are implicated, our political class are implicated in that disastrous decision. But we should be standing up for ourselves, we need to, the French have refused the ECB, they’ve said they will not pay that back until 2017, the Greeks are refusing now and I’m not a socialist, far from being a socialist or a communist, but I think like most people, I admire their spirit, I admire the fact they’re standing up to the European Project which is becoming more sinister and unfriendly to its citizens by the day, there are 25 million people unemployed in Europe, youth unemployment in Spain is 70% , the Spanish are likely to elect a government like Syriza in the forthcoming election, we want our government to stand up for our people…”
Harris: “And have you seen what we’re doing Eamon, when you’re not describing the country as a kip or walking through wine cellars as you were on your promos…”
Dunphy: “Do you mind not engaging in personal insults? Please? You called me a rabble rouser.”
Harris: “I didn’t know you were such a sensitive soul Eamon You’re well able to dish it out and you’ve criticised success ever since Jack Charlton was a manager of the Irish soccer team.”
Dunphy: “Who gave you your briefing notes tonight?”
Harris: “No, no, Eamon, I’ve watched you for a long time Eamon and you’re sitting here tonight portraying yourself as a neutral political commenter. You’ve said already on radio stations that you’re a Sinn Féin supporter, you’ve said you’ve voted for Sinn Féin, as is your right in a democracy. But don’t pretend you’re a neutral observer here. You talk about youth unemployment, have you heard about youth unemployment have you seen the 80,000 jobs we…”
Dunphy: “You’re talking about Jobridge?”
Harris: “We reduced income tax in the last budget, not by a massive amount but for the first time in several years. How then was income tax take up in January from last year if actually more people weren’t in employment. I’m going to ask you about that.”