Niamh Puirséil tweetz:
Who lets him stand in front of these things?
Niamh Puirséil tweetz:
Who lets him stand in front of these things?
During Leaders’s Questions.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin raised what he called a “legacy issue which reflects all parties who’ve have been in Government over the last number of years” and that he wasn’t raising it as a mean to score political points.
The issue is how the State has dealt with child sex abuse in national schools in Ireland up to and since Louise O’Keeffe’s successful case in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2014.
Mr Martin said the State’s response to the ECHR judgement has been “a significant failure and leaves a lot to be desired”.
From Leaders’ Questions:
Micheál Martin: “The State that introduced an ex-gratia payment scheme, in many respects the limits were too low; but also the prior complaint expedient that was put in, has effectively debarred a lot from seeking justice. Only seven settlements so far have been reached out of about 210 cases and those cases are still going through the courts.”
“I recently met a victim of, who has been involved in this situation for quite some time, of horrific abuse, at the hands of a Christian Brother in a school. The person who abused was subsequently convicted, okay, so there’s no doubt about the issue. And I think he was convicted of other abuse cases as well. And there are quite a number of other victims out there at the moment, Taoiseach. Now this man went through horrific abuse, has been up and down through the courts and religious orders and has received absolutely no compensation, not a cent, nothing from the State. And, recently, in the High Court, because many of these people discontinued their cases when the Supreme Court ruled that the State didn’t have an obligation, the High Court would not uphold the rights now to pursue it in law and, indeed, Judge Barrett made such a ruling. But he also said in his statement that ‘The Irish people…’, and I quote, this is at the end of the court case, the High Court: ‘…with their great and proper sense of justice may well conclude to the path of rightness in this matter should lead ultimately into a different end’. He added: ‘as an Irishman, I would respectfully agree’. Essentially, Taoiseach what has been going on has been quite, in my view, unacceptable.”
Enda Kenny: “I don’t know how many victims of sexual abuse there are in the, there have been over the years in the primary system, no more than the secondary system I assume. We have the, we had the redress scheme, we had the case of all the Magdalenes – not that there was sexual abuse in the vast majority of cases. There is the mother and baby home report coming before the Minister for Children as well which we’ll have to see what that means. I can’t recall all the details of, of the file in this case. Your question is can something be done about this. I’ve no idea of the scale of what might be involved here. But I need to read the detail of the file and the legal outcomes here. People who are abused have to live with that for all of their lives and it’s a horrific issue to have to contend with, every waking moment. Now, I don’t want to go beyond that because to come into something that I haven’t the full facts and details about, it wouldn’t be appropriate on the floor of the Dáil here…
Kenny: “Yeah, you see, you mention that there are 7 out of 210 that have been settled – that’s 210 that are before the courts now. But, you have no idea of the numbers who might wish to come forward and say ‘I was sexually abused in school X or Y by teacher or person X or Y. You have no idea of the scale of that. And, and, I think in the process, when the State dealt with the Louise O’Keeffe case, on the 28th of January, 2014, that judgement was issued and the State awarded made awards both in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and costs and expenses. They also agreed in December of that year that out-of-court settlements would be offered to those extant cases of school child sexual abuse being brought against the State – where the cases came within the terms of the ECHR judgement and satisfied the statute of limitations. And in that regard the State claims agency could manage such cases on behalf of the State, has made settlement offers which have been accepted, as you say, in six cases. In July 2015, the Government approved proposals to offer ex-gratia payments of up to a maximum of €84,000 to those who initiated legal proceedings in such cases agains the State but who subsequently discontinued their claims against the State and where, similarly, the circumstances of the claims came within the terms of the ECHR judgement and where the claims were not statute barred prior to the proceedings being discontinued. I’ll follow through on the question.”
There you go now.
Previously: Grooming A Nation
You’ll recall the case of Shane O’Farrell.
The 23-year-old, from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, was killed in a hit-and-run by Zigimantus Gridziuska, on August 2, 2011.
Gridziuska was on bail for several offences at the time and was on suspended sentences in the Republic and the North which should have been activated prior to the incident.
He pleaded guilty to failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of the crash and he received an eight-month suspended sentence in on February 28, 2013, on condition that he leave the country within 21 days.
Judge Pat McCartan, at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin, gave Gridziuska the choice of serving the with months or leaving the country and he chose the latter.
During the sentencing of Gridzisuka, Shane’s mother Lucia O’Farrell claims Judge McCartan asked if there was anything coming up in the pipeline for Gridziuska and that the State solicitor failed to notify the judge that – over the five months before Gridziuska’s trial – a file had been prepared in relation to insurance fraud charges against Gridziuska.
Ms O’Farrell repeatedly requested for this file to be compiled and completed so that it could be included in the proceedings of the case of dangerous driving causing death. However, it wasn’t.
On March 6, 2013 – just days after he was ordered to leave the State within 21 days – Gridziuska appeared in Carrickmacross District Court for insurance fraud and he was jailed for five months by Judge Sean MacBride in relation to three policies of insurance fraud, one of which covered the day on which Shane was killed. Judge MacBride also banned him from driving for ten years.
Further to this…
GSOC has been carrying out an investigation into Shane’s case for the past two and a half years.
On September 28, 2016, in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan raised Shane’s case and said:
“If the GSOC report comes back, I will be holding her to what I believe should be an agreement that the family deserves an inquiry if the GSOC report indicates there are further matters that merit investigation.”
Further to this, Sinn Fein’s leader Gerry Adams raised Shane’s case during Leaders’ Questions in the Dail today while Shane’s Mrs O’Farrell was in the gallery watching on.
He explained the details of Shane’s case and mentioned that he had given Taoiseach Enda Kenny a file about the case – before the summer recess.
Mr Adams had the following exchange with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Gerry Adams: “You might tell me that the Justice Minister has Shane’s case with GSOC but it’s been there four and a half years and no result yet. The case, Ceann Comhairle, is multi-dimensional, shocking and sickening at every turn, it merits a proper statutory investigation, Taoiseach. Will you commit to this please?”
Enda Kenny: “I recall when this accident happened, Deputy Adams. Nothing that I can say or do will bring back Shane O’Farrell and I’m happy to see his mother [Lucia O’Farrell] in the gallery today. I’ve read the file that you gave me. I’ve read the other extensive files that exist in this case. I am aware that there is a civic action against the State and that GSOC have been carrying out an investigation on this. I feel that, that I would like to meet Mrs O’Farrell and hear her story myself. And I will do so from a humanitarian point of view. There are processes that are always followed; nothing will bring back Shane O’Farrell whom I understand was a brilliant young student. So, I know the MInister for Justice answered questions on this recently, I think to Deputy [Jim] O’Callaghan and she indicated, as she had met the family herself, as indeed many have, that she would like to be in a position to have the response of GSOC and that that work was well advanced. Though, as you point out, it’s been going on for quite a while. My understanding from that is that GSOC wish to interview a number of other gardai and that the Minister would be prepared to follow through with whatever the recommendations of GSOC were. This is a very sensitive and sad situation for the O’Farrell family and I’d like to think, that the very least we can do is have every possibility examined so that Mrs O’Farrell, Shane’s mother and his sister, can be an at least, know that the situation was examined in the way that it should be. Thank you for giving me the file which I read and for your question, I’ll make arrangements to meet with Mrs O’Farrell when I have an opportunity.”
Adams: “I thank you, Taoiseach, for your response and I thank you particularly for agreeing to meet with Mrs O’Farrell. This was a young lad, as you say, he was 23, he was a brilliant student at Trinity, he was about to start work at the European Parliament and he was a fluent Irish speaker. He was a gentle, young man with a bright, bright future. And Lucia, and Jim [Shane’s father] have been robbed of their pride and joy. He was their only son. But this case goes beyond his tragic death. It reveals, in my opinion, a series of grievous flaws in the management and response by the justice agencies. There are 59 complaints with GSOC in relation to Shane’s case but nothing to show. Four and a half years later, and this delay is causing ongoing trauma to his family. And I’m sure that you agree that all citizens must have confidence in our justice systems and, of course, all systems have their failings. But we all have a duty to ensure that they are of the very highest standards. As you say, Shane O’Farrell can’t be brought back, but his family can get justice. So I thank you for your reply, I thank you for your agreement, as I’ve said, to meet with Shane’s mother. But Taoiseach, they have asked for a statutory inquiry, will you agree to that? Or, failing that, today will you agree will you make your position known on this issue after you’ve met with Mrs O’Farrell and can you do that as quickly as your busy schedule will allow?”
Kenny: “Yes, I will make my views known and I will arrange to meet Mrs O’Farrell as soon as I have an opportunity. I would say that this is one of over 200 cases where people feel very grievously hurt on a range, a very broad range of issues across many years. And a review panel was set up to look at all these cases including the tragic death of Shane and that consisted of two senior and five junior counsel who are very experienced and the recommendation that they made was to take no further action. Now, I’m not a senior counsel but my job in politics engages me with so many people. I read this file and I will meet Mrs O’Farrell and I will make my views known. I’d like to think that the GSOC inquiry is, you know, practically complete. That’s my understanding. But that’s not of any value to people who say ‘I’ve been waiting for so long without any clarity as to when I’m going to have, I’m going to have a completed document’. The Minister for Justice did say, I’d like to get that, and I’d like to, you know, decide what the best option is arising from that report. I have no input obviously into the civic action as for a person’s right to take a case against the State. But I will meet Mrs O’Farrell because I want to meet her on a humanitarian basis. This is one of a number of very tragic cases and, as I say, nothing will bring back Shane O’Farrell.”
Previously: ‘Delay, Deny, Lie, Then Cover-Up’
O’Callaghan transcript: Kildarestreet.com
RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of Enterprise Ireland’s International Markets Week.
— RTÉ Radio 1 (@RTERadio1) October 5, 2016
— Fiachra McCarthy (@FEEKRA) October 5, 2016
Pull yourself together, man.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with controversial Independent Alliance junior minister John Halligan and school children from St Brigid’s School, The Coombe, Cork Street, Dublin 8 to launch the government’s Action Plan For Education.
Earlier: Dan Boyle on the meaning of ‘mojo’
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Martin Hayden, chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, at the party’s think-in in Newbridge, Co Kildare this morning, and the audio of an interview Mr Kenny gave to KFM Kildare this morning
On Saturday, Pat Leahy, in the Irish Times, reported that the C&AG found that hundreds of millions may have been lost in the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland property portfolio, Project Eagle, to US investment firm Cerebrus.
It was reported that this loss may have been due to what the C&AG found to be “shortcomings” and “irregularities” in the sale.
The C&AG report is due to be published on Wednesday.
The report about the C&AG study followed a BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme into Project Eagle broadcast last week, which followed an earlier Spotlight programme in March – both of which made serious allegations about the Project Eagle sale.
Readers may recall how, on June 1, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil:
“There has not been any allegation of wrongdoing against NAMA”.
In addition, on June 8, Mr Kenny told the Dáil:
“Nobody has presented me with evidence of wrongdoing by Nama”.
Further to this.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to Shane Beatty, of KFM Kildare, this morning, ahead of the Fine Gael’s
knees-up think-in starting today in Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co Kildare.
The C&AG report into NAMA was discussed.
From the interview…
Enda Kenny: “If I find… if I find, and our colleguess in Government, find that there is a case to be examined well then I won’t be opposed to that.”
Shane Beatty: “But viewers of BBC’s Spotlight will say we’ve already seen a case that I think we need to have an inquiry, why do we have to wait until Thursday?”
Enda Kenny: “There are two criminal investigations going on in a different jurisdiction.”
Shane Beatty: “None here.”
Enda Kenny: “None here, and the National Crime Agency in the UK have confirmed that there is no case that they have, or are in pursuit of, in repsect of NAMA down here. So, the C&AG’s report is about a ‘value for money’ audit and you, as was pointed out on many occasions… depending on the process you follow for valuations, you might get different results.
“If you, for instance, were to dispose of the properties now with the devaluation of Sterling you’d get a different result also. But I think this is an extensive report, we do need to read it, everybody needs to reflect on it. And if there are questions arising from the Public Accounts Committee’s engagment with NAMA, they are due in before them very shorty [September 22], I’m not adverse [sic] to taking action, but I need to know what is we are taking action on.
Shane Beatty: “Did you watch the Spotlight programme?”
Enda Kenny: “Yes I did, and I saw that, and I found it quiet incredible, but you know, Shane…”
Shane Beatty: “Incredible, how?”
Enda Kenny: “Nothing suprises me at the kind of activites that take place in politics. And in that sense I found it extraordinary to hear the audio report of engagements and meetings of certain personnel.”
Labour TD and vice chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Alan Kelly was interviewed on This Week by Colm Ó Mongáin following the reported findings of the C&AG report.
During the interview Mr Kelly said, in recent days, he was approached by a senior member of Nama ahead of Nama’s appearance before PAC on September 22.
From the interview…
Alan Kelly: The [C&AG] report on this should be released, and obviously then, Nama will come before the PAC. It’s a matter for Nama whether they want to make public statement on it, I believe they should, I believe they’ve been quite naive to a point in relation to this.
Even this week, a senior member of Nama contacted me to brief me before they met before the PAC. I redirected him to the chair of the PAC. I was not comfortable that selective briefings was the way to go to be appropriate given the situation we find ourselves in. But that just shows another level of naivety, I believe, in relation to Nama.
Colm Ó Mongáin: These briefings that were offered by Nama, how was that approach made and by whom?”
Kelly: “Ah well, I won’t, eh, get into individual, but, ah, just a call during the week to meet up. Look, I just explained the Public Accounts Committee is a different committee to every other committee, you know, it has different powers. And it wouldn’t be abnormal for other organisations to brief committee members of other committees but, in relation to this scenario, I think selective briefings wouldn’t be the way to go. And, obviously, I referred to the chairman in relation to this. But, for me, I didn’t think it was appropriately the way to deal with things.
Ó Mongáin: Is it your understanding that all members of the committee were offered these briefings?”
Kelly: “I have no idea, I was going to raise it with my committee colleagues when we meet. I doubt it, but I don’t know so I wouldn’t like to say indefinitely. But I will say this, I don’t think there was necessarily anything malicious or intentional in that way in relation to that contact… It’s another sense of naivety, I feel on the part of Nama in relation to how they do things. It gave me some concerns.”
Ó Mongáin: “Well, what did they want to tell you?”
Kelly: “Well that’s a matter for Nama. I understand that they’re in front of us in the coming weeks and I suppose they wanted to brief us on various different actions, but that would be a matter for Nama to state because obviously I don’t know because I didn’t meet them.”
Listen back to interview in full here
Transcript via Namawinelake
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking with Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning
Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning ahead of the party’s think-in starting today in Keadeen Hotel, Newbidge, Co Kildare.
The interview was carried out following reports that Marion Coy, chair of the Collins Institute, is to brief Fine Gael TDs and Senators at the think-in – on foot of a report she carried out about the party’s poor election results.
However, it’s reported, Ms Coy’s report will not be published – to the ire of some party members.
A second, separate report about the election is also to be outlined at the think-in by Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell.
From the interview…
“I didn’t enjoy the election, I had reflected on this in the summer. As I said, I’ve got my mojo back. We’ve got a huge agenda in front of us and I intend to go flat out as head of a partnership Government which is very different.”
“I just didn’t enjoy it [the election]...I always enjoy elections, meeting people out and about, the arguments, the rows indeed and the discussions that take place. A peculiar time, obviously, changes that have occurred all over Europe reflected themselves here in Ireland.”
“The people made their choice, we respect that. We put together a partnership government, obviously two Independent ministers at Government, third with the Independent Alliance and supported by the Fianna Fáil party in opposition…”
In relation to the two reports…
Pat Kenny: “What about the two reports; Kate O’Connell’s report and the academic report on why you lost so badly in the election?”
Enda Kenny: “Well, some very good recommendations there looking at the future…”
Pat Kenny: “Are you going to publish everything?”
Enda Kenny: “Well, obviously, when we bring the report to the Executive Council who represents the entire spectrum of the party, we will publish them, yeah.”
Pat Kenny: “You will publish these reports? Because there has been a demand from backbenchers and…”
Talk over each other
Enda Kenny: “The reports are a series of recommendations that I think are based from the politicians, in the very practical sense, to Marion Coy’s report which is a more academic work but which I think has really strong values set into it that I think will improve the lot of the party in communicating in dealing with a range of outside interests, in dealing with getting Fine Gael back to being a campaigning party on issues that really matter to people.”
Watch the interview in full here
RTÉ Television has launched its new schedule for the autumn season.
In regards to its factual content, RTÉ Television writes:
This year RTÉ continues its proud tradition of delivering high-quality factual programming that goes right to the heart of Irish society, defining who we are as a nation. Highlights across both channels include:
– Kenny, a landmark two-part documentary charting the rise, fall and rise again of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
– Keeping Ireland Alive: The health service in a day, with 75 cameras following frontline staff over a 24-hour period to give viewers an unprecedented, groundbreaking insight into a service that affects all our lives.
– Rural Addiction, tackling the growing problem of addiction sweeping rural Ireland.
– Generation Jinxed – Generation F’D, a three-part documentary revealing life for Ireland’s 25-35-year-olds, struggling to kickstart their adult lives.
RTÉ One will feature documentaries bringing in-depth coverage of a broad range of subjects. Highlights include authored documentaries from: Dr Eva Orsmond on prescription pill addiction in Ireland in Medication Nation with Dr Eva; John Connors on the history of the Travellers in John Connors: The Travellers; Ian Kehoe on How Ireland was Bought and Sold and hurling star Henry Shefflin on the psychology of success in Henry Shefflin: Winning.
As regards drama…
Homegrown drama remains a key priority for RTÉ with three brand new shows in production this autumn. Acceptable Risk, a six-part thriller starring Elaine Cassidy and Resistance, a War of Independence drama from the makers of Rebellion, go into production in the coming months. New to RTÉ this season are:
Striking Out, Neil Morrissey joins Amy Huberman and Rory Keenan in the cast of this four-part drama about love, family and friendship in the world of Ireland’s legal system.
Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, RTÉ2’s six-part darkly comic drama penned by TV newcomer Stefanie Preissner and starring up-and-coming talents Seána Kerslake and Nika McGuigan.
Viewers can also look forward to great Irish-based drama produced by the BBC in association with RTÉ including EastEnders spin-off drama Redwater starring Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie, Fionnula Flanagan and Maria Doyle Kennedy; and My Mother and Other Strangers starring Hattie Morahan, Owen McDonnell and Aaron Staton; as well as The Fall, starring Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson, produced by Artists Studio in association with RTÉ.
As regards entertainment and comedy…
The hugely popular family-entertainment series Dancing with the Stars debuts in January putting 11 celebrities through their paces, joining a stellar line-up of new home-produced shows and returning favourites including:
The Tommy Tiernan Show, a six-part chatshow with a difference – Tommy has no idea who he’ll be interviewing before they appear on stage.
The Nathan Carter Show, four-part music-entertainment show hosted by Ireland’s favourite country star.
First Dates, the massively popular dating show returns with a supersized 12 episode series.
Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip, the much-loved duo hit the road again with 12 new B&B owners serving up unforgettable experiences.
RTÉ2’s commitment to developing new talent continues to bear fruit with Bridget & Eamon recently becoming the first RTÉ comedy to be sold to a UK broadcaster, UKTV Gold. Bridget & Eamon will also return for a second season.
Fellow Republic of Telly breakout stars The Rubberbandits return to RTÉ2 for more anarchic comedy with The Rubberbandits’ Guides.
Comedian Des Bishop will throw a wry eye over the issues that have exasperated the country for years in Des Bishop: This is Ireland. And the nation’s favourite Dublin matriarch Mrs Brown will be back with more Christmas specials.
At Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2.
The launch of the new season of programmes on RTÉ One and RTÉ2 at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin.
Thanks Gareth Naughton