From top: Taoiseach Enda Kenny (second left) and Attorney General Marie Whelan second right) at former Attorney General Declan Costello’s funeral; Siteserv logo.
Yesterday’s Sunday Business Postrevealed that the Commission of investigation into transactions made during the wind up of Anglo Irish Bank, including the sale of Siteserv to Denis O’Brien, can not proceed.
Six months after its set up the commission says it does not have the powers to make a determination as to whether documents in the possession of the liquidators, KPMG, are “covered by legal and banking privilege”.
Concerned Citizen asks:
Are Fine Gael attempting to throw the Attorney General under the bus for giving poor advice?
And will the Attorney General say the problems were known from the outset but Fine Gael proceeded because they assumed a General Election would come first?
John Perry (left) with Enda Kenny in happier times.
Controversial former Fine Gael Junior Minister [for small businesses] John Perry who failed to secure a berth for the next General Election made a desperate plea on RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland for Enda Kenny to fulfill a ‘promise’ he made to all sitting TDs.
It was horrifying.
Grab a tay.
Audrey Carville: “Former Fine Gael Junior Minister John Perry is understood to have made an appeal at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting last night to be added to the Sligo-Leitrim ticket for the General Election next year. Mr Perry recently lost out at the Selection Convention, sitting Fine Gael TD Tony McLaughlin from Sligo and former Gerry TD Reynolds from Leitrim were both selected instead. John Perry’s on the line now, John Perry, what did you say last night at the Parliamentary Party?”
John Perry: “Good morning Audrey, I just, I said very clearly that the commitment was given to all sitting TDS that they would be allowed to count the next general election, I suppose, bearing in mind that I’ve been a successful candidate for four general elections and I got ahead of the poll on the last occasion.”
Carville: “Now who said that about sitting TDS? Because Enda Kenny was asked, but he didn’t give a clear answer about that.”
Perry: “That’s why I raised it at the Parliamentary Party, because I think that, I would be a huge supporter of Enda Kenny, I supported him in 2002, I was a Director of Organisation in that period, and since then, at 2011 in a very critical time in his career, I supported him.”
Carville: “So do you think he should intervene directly and add you to the ticket or tell, make the organisation that you should be added to the ticket?”
Perry: “I think, well, my track record speaks for itself and as Minister I travelled the country extensively and held many engagements for many Ministers in the chamber and elsewhere as well but the precedent had been set because a Minister, Richard Bruton, obviously, he’s a Minister but I’d be very much of the opinion that all parliamentarians are very much equal and this precedent would be quite extraordinary for FG because I’m getting huge support across the parliamentary party and if it was allowed to stand it would mean that future deputies in the future could be deselected.”
Carville: “But you were beaten fair and square in the contest, I mean the Selection Convention, you don’t have an automatic right to stand for election.”
Perry: “Unfortunately due to a technical glitch a number of delegates of mine from Tubercurry were excluded and the most important aspect is that I will be the people’s representative, elected by the people of Sligo-Leitrim on four occasions, and just due to a deficit of 5-6 votes I knew going into the Convention because we had made every attempt to correct the anomaly and technical glitch in Tubercurry and that would not be allowed…”
Carville: “And do you think was that deliberate?”
Perry: “I didn’t say that no, just that there was a technical glitch but I’m a Fine Gael deputy for 19 years, it is the people of Sligo-Leitrim who elected me, unfortunately I was beaten by a small margin of votes but it’s very important to recognise that on four successive occasions I delivered and on the last occasion I delivered the second seat.”
Carville: “But the selection convention has made its decision, its leaving you behind, can you not accept defeat?”
Perry: “It’s not defeat because the only defeat that I would accept is the people of Sligo-Leitrim and I think the most important issue is the commitment, this precedent if it was allowed to stand would be quite extraordinary and no previous leader and the fact he made the commitment on night of Richard Bruton’s… he was added the next day and the Taoiseach stated it, I respect the Taoiseach as a man of his word, he said at the Parliamentary Party and that’s why I raise it here that every sitting deputy would be allowed to contest the election regardless of the Selection Convention…”
Carville: “So again do you think Enda Kenny should intervene?”
Perry: “Absolutely, yes indeed, he s the President of FG the Taoiseach and it’s ultimately his decision and no one else, he has the final say on this, he can instruct the National Executive to add the name of John Perry and the National Executive has the power to add or delete candidate, so that in the name of Justice fairness and integrity the Taoiseach has no choice but to add me.”
Carville: “And do you think there’s three seats in the constituency?”
Perry: “You must remember that in Cavan-Monaghan there’s four candidates, three candidates are going for election in Cavan Monaghan, in Galway West there’s four candidates where john monaghan went from Mayo to Galway. More importantly, I suppose we are in the largest constituency in the country it is all of Sligo and Leitrim, it goes up to South Donegal and West Cavan and I believe from my work you see I would have an unrivalled record of delivery of work for 19 years so I have no difficulty facing the electorate and would be successfully reelected.”
Carville: “You mentioned the technical glitch, but do you think the difficulty in your being reelected had anything to do with the controversies you were surrounded by in recent times the appointment of your wife to a €38,000 a year role and then your difficulties with Danske Bank?”
Perry: “On the first issue, my wife had been working with me for 19 years and due to the fact that my position wasn’t filled for six months she filled the position for 10 months while my present PA was being trained and you must remember there’s even several ministers currently who have their spouses working for them, currently, you check the records and more importantly there are several senators, when it comes to the issue of Danske Bank that matter has been finally and fully settled, so with regard to that matter everyone has challenges out there and not only with John Perry in Leinster House but with certain other ministers who have challenged it…it may not be in the public domain…”
Carville: “So you’re not going without a fight anyway?”
Perry: “Anyone that knows me, I fight for my constituents all the time, I think that’s why I’m a very successful TD, I don’t take no for an answer when justice is certainly not allowed to happen. I intend to stand as a Fine Gael candidate in the next general election and I will be extraordinarily surprised if the Taoiseach isn’t a man of his word and fulfils his commitment.”
Carville: “If he doesn’t, will you run as an independent?”
Perry: “I believe in fighting within the party, I’m a party activist, all my life I’ve supported FG I believe FG and I’ve been worked tirelessly hard for the past four years in supporting this government which I admire immensely in doing very difficult jobs to ensure that the economy has been turned round and I believe entirely in the determination of this government to be re-elected and I want to be a part of it.”
Carville: “This has been going on for quite a while now, you have your difficulty in being selected and you’ve made many appeals to be put on the ticket but there’s been no intervention, are you disappointed with that?
Perry: “It hasn’t been going on, It’s been going on since last weekend, the elements of, it would be different if the commitment wasn’t given by the Taoiseach, it’s been given quite clearly in the Parliamentary Party room, this is the debating chamber of Fine Gael, this is where all every previous leader John Bruton Liam Cosgrave, no leader in the past, several precedents for adding on a deputy and the most latest precedent, there’s four candidates going, three candidates going in Richard Bruton’s constituency, and there’s no reason why as parliamentarians we shouldn’t be treated equally and I expect the Taoiseach to act accordingly.”
Carville: “John Perry TD, thank you very much indeed.”
Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan was arrested by appointment at Castleblaney Garda Station at around 9.30am this morning. He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and interviewed under caution
The incident is alleged to have occurred in the Conlon family pub in Ballybay [Co Monaghan] at around 8pm on Sunday 23 August. Gardaí later said that a man in his 20s was allegedly assaulted and received minor injuries which did not require hospital treatment
From left: Mairead McGuinness MEP (Midlands North West), Brian Hayes MEP (Dublin), Deirdre Clune MEP (Ireland South) and Sean Kelly MEP (Ireland South)
At the European Parliament, Brussels, Belguim
Urging a Yes vote in the marriage referendum Fine Gael’s four MEPs “reiterated” Ireland’s “strong record” when it comes to “defending human rights and promoting equal opportunities for all citizens, including the LGBT community”.
From top: Terry Prone and Tom Savage and (above) Anton Savage.
The latest edition of Phoenix magazine (on shelves today) contains a lengthy profile of Anton Savage, who presents his own show on Today FM from 9am until noon, Monday to Friday, and is a director of the Communications Clinic, a business he founded with his parents Chinese Wall specialists Terry Prone and Tom Savage.
The Phoenix writes:
“The Communications Clinic and FG have a longstanding relationship in terms of media training. PR advice, etc. Savage has personally trained Enda Kenny in the past. Meanwhile, records released recently to Goldhawk under the Freedom of Information Act show how lucrative this relationship has been for the PR firm.
These show that from 2012 to 2014, the company was paid nearly €180,000 from an Oireachtas fund called the Special Secretarial Allowance (SSA).
The SSA “is to assist towards expenses arising from the purchase of certain secretarial assistance [and] public relations.”
Over those years, the now Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald paid the company nearly €60,000 out of this fund, including around €15,000 last year. This is despite the fact that Fitzgerald already has a press advisor, former Sunday Business Post political correspondent Niamh Connolly.”
“James Reilly also used the SSA to pay a total of nearly €60,000 to the Communications Clinic over those three years, including over €16,000 last year.
His spokesman told Goldhawk that this was for public relations advice on healthcare reform. Phil Hogan was also a client, having paid the company €40,000 from 2012 to 2014 from the SSA, while FG chief whip Paul Kehoe paid the Communications Clinic €18,500 in 2012 from this fund.”
“These figures provide a snapshot of the relationship between FG and the Communications Clinic but don’t tell the full story. They don’t indicate, for example, how much FG pays the company out of party funds, which are not subject to Freedom of Information.”
The PR firm’s complete client list is a closely guarded secret but there was good news for Savage in 2013 when it emerged that a proposed public register of broadcasters’ interests from the BAI was to be shelved (for the time being, at least). Such a register would pose a major headache for Savage and the Communications Clinic and happily this has been firmly kicked to touch. The BAI recently told Goldhawk that a statutory review of the 2013 code is to take place in 2017 and that , ‘it may be that the outcomes of the review will result in considering again the issue of a public register of interests’
The crucial thing is the maths. In the next Dail, a potential Government needs about 80 seats to form a majority and clearly neither FG, SF nor FF can form a Government on their own.
Converting this week’s poll figures into seats would go as follows: FG at 47, Independents and others at 42, SF at 33, FF at 31, Labour at 4 and Greens at 1.
If you combine FG and SF, you get the magic 80. Otherwise, a combination of FF and FG would come close to it, but, despite their similarity, this would be an almost impossible coalition to imagine, given the historical differences and utter resistance by the memberships of both parties.
However, there are few other feasible alternatives. FG is still saying publicly that it wishes to continue governing with the Labour Party, but given the latter’s decimation, this would be almost impossible, unless there were other elements in the coalition. And it is difficult to see SF sharing power with Labour, or vice versa. There is an equal antipathy between rival Republican parties FF and SF, of course…
Delusional even by the standards of the Irish pol corr tradition….. I watched Simon Harris [on Claire Byrne Live ] and the only impression he conveyed was a smarmy and nasty one (and I’m no Dunphy fan). This young man’s life experience is as narrow as his shirt collar and it shows. Oh and can I be the new Hillary? We have the same hair colour!
The Ceann Comhairle also said he was to examine the possibility of getting greater clarity of Standing Order 57, under which he took the decision to allow the inquiry into allegations of garda malpractice in the Cavan/Monaghan division to go ahead without debate.
Speaking in the Dáil prior to Leaders Questions, Mr Barrett said that at no time did he come under pressure from anyone in the run-up to his decision….he also withdrew the comment he made during an RTE Radio interview last week that the Opposition was out to undermine him.