Fianna Fáil Fingal TD Darragh O’Brien
Darragh O’Brien actually said in Dail that the jury was intimidated by tweets in the #JobstownNotGuilty trial. Is that the best you can do?
— Paul Murphy (@paulmurphy_TD) July 5, 2017
Leinster House, Dublin 2
A downpour interrupts the launch of a Fianna Fail billl to re-establish town councils with, top, from left: Group Leader in the Seanad Senator Catherine Ardagh, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Local Government Shane Cassells and Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Jim O’Callaghan.
You may recall a recent report by Saoirse McGarrigle in The Irish Mirror about how a member of Fianna Fáil claims the party held secret meetings to discuss how it could “contain” the story of Bill Kenneally and his abuse of young boys in Waterford.
Ms McGarrigle reported last week:
The whistleblower said that secret meetings began in 2013 when a criminal investigation began after a number of victims came forward.
“They met under the guise of discussing another problem, but they were actually there to discuss containing the story.”
Readers will recall how Kenneally was convicted and sentenced to 14 years last February, for abusing 10 boys in the 1980s, after victim Jason Clancy came forward. But certain Gardaí knew about the abuse as far back as 1985.
Readers will also recall how Kenneally’s uncle was the late Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kenneally, who died in 2009 and who was succeeded by his son Brendan Kenneally.
Brendan Kenneally was told about the abuse by a Waterford woman in 2002 but he didn’t tell gardai. Instead, he spoke to another uncle and local priest – and former chairman of the board of management at Holy Cross National School in Tramore, Co Waterford – Monsignor John Shine – and arranged counselling for Bill Kenneally.
Monsignor Shine died on Saturday, February 18.
Last month the then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald appointed retired judge Barry Hickson to chair a Commission of Investigation into the matter.
Further to the report in The Irish Mirror, the survivors of abuse at the hands of Kenneally have this afternoon released the following statement via KRW Law:
“We are aware of the recent media reports that have expressly commented on the allegations of a whistleblower in relation to the abuse by Bill Kenneally, and the subsequent failure to investigate allegations.
“We have conducted our own enquiries in respect of this whistleblower’s evidence and are satisfied that it raises real issues of concern, which will in due course, need to be fully investigated.
“We proposed to place all relevant evidence before the pending inquiry with a view to the issues raised becoming part of the live investigation.
“Such allegations are extremely serious and must be fully investigated so as to assuage both our clients’ concerns and those of the wide community.”
From top, left to right: Charlie McConalogue TD, Barry Cowen TD, Jim O’Callaghan TD during government formations talks last year; Derek Mooney
On Monday, Derek Mooney speculated on the possible outcome of a deal between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael suggesting water charges were dead for both parties.
While the agreement on the future funding of domestic water as hammered out at the Oireachtas committee is not a bad one – the issue now is more about the process and the path to its arrival.
It proves the truth of the old adage, usually attributed to Bismarck: if you want to keep your appetite then there are two things you should never watch being made: laws and sausages.
The Committee report does include an important climbdown from the government that now accepts that there should be a future referendum on the public ownership of Irish Water.
The fate of individual metered water charges was sealed politically at the last election and sealed technically at the committee with the evidence given by the officials from Scottish Water.
Scotland does not have individual metering, the charge comes from the council tax (in our case from income tax) and they are held to be in compliance with EU Directives.
Most discussion at the Committee since that evidence has been a proxy battle between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael fought on extremely narrow grounds via lawyers and competing legal advice.
The outcome was a draw nil all draw, not that the result matters too much as the crowds had been so frustrated and irritated by the carry-on on the pitch that they stopped watching and went home ages ago.
The only outstanding questions are: why did no one in Government look at the Scottish model before now and what was all that furore and activity between 2011 and 2016?
Expensive wasted water under the bridge it seems.
Derek Mooney is a communications and public affairs consultant. He previously served as a Ministerial Adviser to the Fianna Fáil-led government 2004 – 2010. His column appears here usually every Monday. Follow Derek on Twitter: @dsmooney
Earlier: They Think It’s All Over
Monday: Pointless Water Torture
Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen (top) and Fine Gael’s Martin Heydon (above) address media following the final vote on the Draft Report of the Joint Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services.
The Dáil will today debate a motion on the final report while TDs will vote on the motion tomorrow.
The deal includes several Fianna Fáil concessions including a commitment to install water meters in newly built houses (see triumphant Irish Independent editorial below).
Editorial in today’s irish Independent.
They seem happy.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin promises the abolition of Irish Water at the 2015 Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis.
Yesterday: Watching The Meter
Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking Leaders’ Questions this afternoon
“Now, I do, I do hope, I do hope – and I want to make this clear – as Minister Zappone pointed out, that when she informed me that she had spoken to the McCabes, that the discussion that she had with them was about allegations, false allegations, made to Tusla.
“She did not indicate to me any issue of the detail of the discussion she had with the McCabe family or, indeed, the existence of any content of a file which you mention. Obviously, this was, this was, this became very public knowledge on the relevant Prime Time programme.
“And Minister Zappone is very clear, that the discussions she had with Sgt McCabe were of a confidential nature, that she had to respect his privacy, that these things were not in the public domain at the time that she, that she met with him. And I say mea culpa here. Because I did say, I’m guilty here, of, of, of not giving accurate information.
“I understood, from thinking myself that I had, perhaps that she had asked me about meeting Sgt McCabe in the first place. It actually was her office that consulted with my officials, who told me. So, she, she is very clear that she did not tell me that she intended to meet Sgt McCabe. But she did tell her official to tell my office. So I regret that. I regret that. I regret that. I regret that… So, I didn’t actually, I didn’t actually… She didn’t tell me herself and she’s really sorry she did…She did tell me before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met with him and they had discussed allegations that were false in respect of, given to Tusla.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking in the Dáil this afternoon – in response to questions from Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
Later, in response to questions from Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, Mr Kenny contradicts himself:
“When you come to the house of the people, in this position, and you actually tell the truth, that you get pilloried also. There are many people who’ve been here before me who, for many years, who’ve made mistakes. I stand here and I say the information about the minister’s meeting with McCabe family, that, that I had spoken to her about that, she notified my office. My office told me of that information. And I put that in the public domain and I regret that I shouldn’t have.”
“The minister did not refer to any of the details of the discussion with the McCabes or the existence of a file in Tusla or the information contained in that file. It is not true to say that I had any information about the existence of that, prior to the Cabinet meeting in Government Buildings here.”
Readers will recall how on Sunday, Enda Kenny told Colm Ó Mongáin, of RTE’s This Week, that Ms Zappone told him she intended to meet Sgt McCabe and his wife Lorraine “in a private capacity”.
Mr Kenny said:
“That’s all I knew. I said to her, ‘well, if you do have a meeting, make sure you have a thorough account of it’. So, when we had our [Cabinet] meeting on Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been aware of any of the details of her discussions.”
Asked if he asked Ms Zappone what the meeting was about, he said: “No, because she was meeting him in a private capacity which she’s entitled to do.”
Dáil proceedings are under way and can be watched live here
Previously: ‘Why Are Nine Garda Whistleblowers Out Sick?’
The Day Stephen Donnelly Joined Foster and Allen
While gutless others shivered
alone in wardrobes of their own making,
debating whether to kill
by strangling, or have sexual intercourse with,
you strode into our national crisis
stage left stylish
as a string quartet about to fiddle out
on viola, cello, Stradivarius
something by the late Benjamin Britten;
a set of implausibly perfect teeth attached
to what sounded like a brain.
Your intelligence so vast
you had to get the builders in
to extend the dome of your skull
to accommodate a Masters
degree from Harvard.
Not content to be the usual
slight disappointment, you reveal
yourself to be the thinking wing
of the Foster and Allen Party; politically flexible
as a cross-community Belfast brothel;
slick as rubbery bacon; aesthetically pleasing
as a Chicken Snack Box thrice reheated
before nine o’clock in the morning
or a third hand pair of trousers grown
pungent with badly digested cabbage;
but destined tonight to be wildly applauded
in darkest Arklow by those who’ll have
the shirts torn from their backs
when next the market crashes.
— Irish Times Politics (@IrishTimesPol) October 6, 2016
There you go now.