Independent TD Mattie McGrath (above) and former Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett (middle) attest to attending the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Dementia’s third ‘Building Dementia Awareness in the Oireachtas’ – awareness training which is provided to TDs, Senators and their staff with insights on dementia.
Former Minister for Justice Nora Owen (top centre left) spoke at the event for the group which has has 23 Oireachtas members and run in partnership with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI).
Independent TD Mattie McGrath (top) and Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan (centre right), acting as Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil last night and an internal Anglo Irish Bank email from 2010 (above)
Independent TD Mattie McGrath, from Tipperary, was the final TD to contribute to the Dáil debate on the Commission of Investigation into certain IBRC transactions last night.
He started to speak about the 2012 sale of Siteserv to Denis O’Brien’s company, Millington, when Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan – acting for Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett – interrupted him and warned him that certain people could take action against the Houses of the Oireachtas.
At one point during the debate, Mr McGrath, addressing Finance Minister Michael Noonan, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Environment Minister Alan Kelly, read from an email.
He also referred to Denis O’Brien as Mr X.
Mattie McGrath: “I’m delighted that the Minister is here tonight and I know he’s tried hard, since he came in to Government to try and sort out the banking mess but there are huge questions that have arisen.
And I’ve some questions here for the minister tonight as well. In March 2012, an O’Brien special-purpose vehicle, Millington Ltd, was bidding €50 million in cash for Siteserv. The company we hear so much about today. And don’t look so perplexed minister, I’ve some questions that I’ve…”
Bernard Durkan: “I just want to warn you, deputy, I don’t want the debate moved into what is the subject matter of the origins of the debate so that just because issues in the public domain,some of them, I don’t want new issues, and new material, to be brought into it. So, and the House should always be aware, the House should always be aware, that members have absolute privilege and you can exercise that absolute privilege. However, that doesn’t stop a member of the public, outside, from taking an action against the Houses.”
McGrath: “I didn’t say he could and I hope you’ll allow my time. So, I don’t know, are we here to trash it out or not.”
Durkan: “You know the rules of the House.”
McGrath: “I know the rules of the House, but I think that was upheld by my good, learned colleague from Tipperary [Judge Donald Binchy] last week in the High Court. This is what’s going on. I mean, given that Mr X, sure were all know who he is, owed €500 million to IBRC in March 2012, why did that bank not ask him to pay down this debt by €50 million rather than giving him money to purchase Siteserv? Simple question.
Given that Mr X owed IBRC and IBRC were not concerned that Mr X was funding the purchase with more debt from other banks, making IBRC’s lending positive situation unsustainable, simple questions. What steps were taken by the board of IBRC to gain a full picture of Mr X’s Irish and international borrowings, before entering into the Siteserv deal?
If you or I walked into the bank, or Minister Noonan, and we owed them ten grand and we wanted a loan of €4,000, we’d have to ask the questions. So it doesn’t seem to have…there are two levels here of what’s going on, two different rules.”
Other IBRC customers were being put out of business or tiny bits and pieces in relation to what was going on.
…And what’s more worrying is is an internal email that I have here from two senior managers in IBRC. I won’t name them as you’ve asked me to, but the content of the email is strange. “You want to send me over your one, your one on Nama, if you do, if you did for this.” “I will lash it out later.” “Have a quick look at Mr X, there will be fireworks.” Internal. There. From your minutes. You said you couldn’t find them, they’re all there. I have them here I can hand them to you and documents to go with them.”
Mr Shatter said his mentioning of the incident involving the Independent TD Mick Wallace was a mistake.
He apologised and said he would not do it again.
Minister Alan Shatter told the Dáil the motion was particularly galling given that one of his biggest jobs on entering office was to reverse Fianna Fáil’s cuts to justice and defence funding.
Addressing claims made by Mattie McGrath TD last Thursday he told the Dáil, “While I can be accused of being a workaholic, I can not be accused of abusing alcohol.”
Yesterday, in the Dáil, Independent TD Mattie McGrath, above, raised the death of Fr Niall Molloy (top), who was killed in July 1985 after a wedding at Richard Flynn’s mansion in Clara, Co Offaly.
Mattie McGrath: “Taoiseach, I rise today to highlight an issue that is fundamental to the pursuit of justice in our country in 2013. Taoiseach, I believe there’s an ongoing scandal surrounding the unresolved murder of a hugely popular parish priest, the late Fr Niall Molloy in 1985, almost three decades ago. This case has existed and the unhappiness and unease around it, through several successive governments for the last three decades as stated. All the evidence points to a high-level cover-up of his murder – including all of the institutions of the State, including sadly elements of An Garda Síochána, the judiciary, politicians, health services and indeed the Catholic Church. The main points are, I think, Taoiseach is that we want to get to the bottom of this sordid affair. That Niall Molloy was beaten to death and left bleeding for up to six hours, according to independent neuropathologists who have examined his brain. Dermot Hourihan, a former professor of pathology, at Trinity College and St James’ spoke to any of us that wanted to listen last week in the AV room here and he left us in no doubt what his findings were and that of his senior and very eminent colleagues. Fr Niall Molloy’s watch was cracked and stopped at 10.40 and the gardaí were not contacted until 3.15am, the following morning. What was happening during these vital hours, Taoiseach? The first garda investigation was by all people, by all accounts, a total shambles. Vital evidence was contaminated, important witnesses were never interviewed and all of that time, at that time, the gardai contradicted State pathologist at the inquest. The trial judge, Mr Frank Roe, the late Mr Frank Roe, was a friend of the Flynn family…”
Ceann Comhairle: “Sorry, please deputy, there’s no need to go into this.”
McGrath: “It’s not my words, I mean this is what is…”
Ceann Comhairle: “We don’t know, do we?
McGrath: “We do know, Ceann Comhairle, we do know Ceann Comhairle…”
Ceann Comhairle: “Please don’t be making. Stick to your case and ask your questions, that’s fine.”
McGrath: “All right. And indeed he directed a jury, after four hours, to quit the defendant, collapsing the case as I said within four hours. He’d also written, at the length of time, I won’t mention the names, to the State, to the DPP, which is very unwise of any man in that position. And it gets worse, The General, Martin Cahill broke into the…”
Ceann Comhairle: “Please put your question…”
McGrath: “I will put my question. He broke into and stole the file (on Fr Molloy’s death), the gardaí did some kind of a deal with him to get it because it contained information that would be embarrassing to the State, inverted commas. In return for the file, they dropped charges…”
Ceann Comhairle: “You’re making serious allegations here.”
Talk over each other.
Ceann Comhairle: “But this is Leaders’ Questions. You’re…”
McGrath: “It is indeed. I’m asking the leader of our country today, our Taoiseach,that, the highest office in the land, when his minister for justice, while in opposition, deputy Alan Shatter, committed to hold an independent inquiry into this sordid affair, and so did Minister Rabbitte, then justice spokesperson for the Labour Party. This is a very serious affair and the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice, who I know is abroad, can deal with this and will have to deal with this, because it’s a disquieting situation that cannot be allowed to continue. I’m asking the Taoiseach will he hold an independent inquiry. Will he ensure that, and I don’t talk about a tribunal, a short, sharp independent inquiry of low cost that can get to the facts. And indeed I salute the journalists who brought this issue and who are maintaining their enquiries into this case. So I ask the Taoiseach will you call, will you hold and independent inquiry now. Your chairman of your own party has written to you asking that.”Kenny said he’ll pass on McGrath’s comments to Mr Shatter, on his return from abroad. He said he wouldn’t commit to an independent inquiry without a full analysis by Mr Shatter. He said it’s not a matter to be taken lightly.”