Last night,Damien Dempsey played the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2.
So how did it go?
Damo fan Johnny Keenan (him off the telly) went along.
Johnny (top, outside the Iveagh Gardens) writes:
Damien Dempsey brought his Soulsun and it did shine in the centre of the capital last night.
He carped the fupp out of the diem from the get-go with ‘Seize The Day’, and for at least another 20 songs ( I lost count because I was in the moments man) he had the capacity crowd singing all their cares away.
Everything the Donaghmede native poured from his being came from his heart mind and soul. He left it all on the stage. It was soaked up by an upbeat well-oiled collective that came from all over the island and beyond in anticipation of some spiritual fulfillment and a good ole sing song.
From a culchie viewpoint on looking at the 2 sides of Dublin it was abundantly clear that a diverse divided city never seemed so united.
The power of music, man.
Patience, sorrow, loss, heartbreak, understanding ,respect, rebellion and love evoked the emotion from the front of stage to the eyes of the onlooking public. This punter was almost carried away on a flood of thy tears.
All the classics got an airing as well as a careful selection off the latest album, ‘Soulsun’.
In a time where soundbites platitudes and fake news are the views of the mainstream it is so refreshing to see hear and feel one of Ireland’s own still shining bright with the art of story through song, while galvanising the downtrodden via the process we know best. Folk songs for the Folks!
Nothing too fancy but still keeping it reel with 6 tremendous musicians behind him. The beautiful backing vocals & harmonies of Pauline Scanlon were gorgeous.
Stand out tune was ‘Soft Rain’. A shout out to our brothers and sisters abroad akin (imo) to Oró Sé Do Bheath Abhaile. “When Ya Coming Home, My Friend ?”.
Keeping our proud tradition alive while letting ourselves and the world know that when it comes to song and true troubadours the Irish aspire and inspire greatly.
We have to look past the bullshite to see the soul in ourselves and each other. That’s what a Damien Dempsey gig essentially is all about. Last night was special though. Dublin expect and respect The Tribal Warrior.
All in all it would be fair to say, twas All Good!
Niall Kelly, head of Internal Audit at An Garda Síochána
You may recall the near one million breath tests that gardaí recorded they took between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2016, but, in March, conceded they didn’t take.
Further to this.
Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports that the head of internal audit at An Garda Síochána, Niall Kelly, has contacted the Policing Authority about the Garda review of these figures.
Mr Lally reports:
Mr Kelly has pointed out that neither he nor his staff were involved in the review process. Because of that, and also because the formal rigours of an audit process were not followed, he has insisted the process cannot be called an audit.
Senior Garda management have referred to the process as an audit.
At a press conference when the scandal broke in March, Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey referred to it as an audit.
A paragraph Niall Kelly deleted from the final version of a report on the Garda College in 2011, recorded in the 2017 Interim Audit Report into Financial Procedures in the college
Readers may recall how, last week, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and other senior gardai attended a Public Accounts Committee meeting to discuss financial irregularities at the Garda College in Templemore.
Mr Kelly also attended PAC, during which it was discussed a matter mentioned in the Interim Audit Report into Financial Procedures in the Garda College which was given to PAC in March.
This matter was in relation to how, in 2011, he deleted a paragraph (above) from the final version of his Report to the Garda Commissioner in relation to Financial Controls in 2010 – after he was assured that the issues were addressed.
In PAC, Mr Kelly had the following exchange with Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane, in which Mr Kelly said he felt he had been “duped” and that he was caught in the “circling of wagons”.
Micheal Culhane, executive director of finance and services at An Garda Siochana, was also involved in the exchange.
David Cullinane: “Page 14 of the report refers to the Garda Commissioner and 2 March 2011 and contains a paragraph which says “no assurances were given”. That paragraph was removed and deleted and Mr. Kelly said this was because he was given assurances.”
Niall Kelly: “I was provided with a summarised report from Mr Culhane [Michael Culhane, executive director of finance and services at An Garda Siochana] and assurances that the issues were being dealt with.”
Cullinane: “Did Mr. Culhane give the assurances to Mr. Kelly?”
Michael Culhane: “I did not give them directly to Mr. Kelly. It went to the CAO showing the progress that had been made on some of the issues.”
Cullinane: “However, the assurances were given by Mr. Culhane. The CAO was the conduit but the assurances were given by Mr. Culhane.”
Culhane: “I did not give assurances. I gave an update on the report.”
Cullinane: “However, Mr. Kelly saw this as assurances because he said he deleted the paragraph because of assurances that were given.”
Kelly: “Yes. I had conversations with the audit committee.”
Cullinane: “Who gave Mr. Kelly the assurances he talked about?”
Kelly: “I got the report. I spoke to the CAO at the time. I spoke to the chairman of the audit committee at the time. It had gone to the Commissioner. The note had come back from the Commissioner, in the margins of the letter back from the Commissioner, that this report should be provided to me. I had highlighted my issues to the highest level in the organisation. Ultimately, my role is an advisory role.”
Cullinane: “Everyone is passing the buck.”
Kelly: “I am not passing the…”
Cullinane: “I do not say Mr. Kelly is here. He deleted a vital paragraph based on assurances that action was being taken. Who gave him those assurances?”
Kelly: “The CAO primarily.”
Cullinane: “Who did he get them from?”
Kelly: “From Mr. Culhane.”
Cullinane: “That is what I am trying to establish exactly. Mr. Kelly’s view now is that those assurances were not worth the paper they were written on. Would that be a fair...”
Kelly: “That would be true. I would also say that it was a mistake on my part to delete that paragraph.”
Cullinane: “Mr. Kelly is brave enough to accept that he made a mistake.”
Cullinane: “I commend him on that. Does he feel he was duped?”
Kelly: “I do.”
Cullinane: “Does he regret that he was duped in that way?”
Cullinane: “Who does he believe duped him? Perhaps he should name offices rather than individuals.”
Kelly: “I think that is an unfair question to ask. It could be a range of people.”
Vice Chairman Alan Kelly: “In the interest of fairness, does Mr. Kelly feel it was multiple people or one person?”
Kelly: “Reference was made to culture. There was a different culture at that stage. There was a culture of circling the wagons and I got caught trying to bang into the wagons.”
Cullinane: “Does Mr. Kelly agree that the culture of An Garda Síochána up to 2015 was to circle the wagons rather than to accept there was wrongdoing and correct it? Would that be his view as head of internal audit?”
Kelly:Speaking now, having gone through the past five years and writing this report, that is the only conclusion I can come to.”
From top: Joan Burton and Enda Kenny at a JobBridge announcement in 2013; Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Indecon review of JobBridge yesterday at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin
Long live the new scam!
Further to the announcement by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar yesterday that JobBridge is to be wound down and that it will be replaced with another scheme next year – the details of which have yet to be released…
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, presenter Cathal MacCoille spoke to Alan Gray, economist and managing director of Indecon Consultants – which carried out a review of JobBridge and recommended it be changed.
From their discussion:
Cathal MacCoille: “First of all, JobBridge, how good was it for how many?”
Alan Gray: “It’s a very interesting evidence-based survey, Cathal, it was done by a team of Irish and international experts… and what it showed was very high levels of progression to employment. Now, those people previously unemployed, who were on JobBridge, have now found jobs.”
MacCoille: And that’s high is it?”
Gray: “It’s extremely high.”
MacCoille: “How many of those, that’s good for them, but can you figure out how much of that was due to the pick up of the economy anyway, or because of them being on JobBridge?”
Gray: “That’s a critical issue and, as part of the analysis, a very detailed econometric research was done to compare how that group did, compared with a counterfactual of what would have happened anyway. And the result…”
MacCoille: “Let’s stop for a moment. You compared a controlled group who were on JobBridge, with a controlled group who weren’t?”
MacCoille: “And found what?”
Gray: “And it showed that JobBridge enhanced the probability of getting a job by 32%. That’s probably the highest impact on employment of any labour market programme.”
MacCoille: “How do you get to that conclusion?”
Gray: “Basically, what you do is you control for all other factors, it’s like a scientific experiment, Cathal, it’s like medical research. Where you get an exactly similar group on the labour market, who were unemployed, you track their employment outcomes and you compare it with those on JobBridge and you make sure its statistically robust and it showed that JobBridge had really a quite surprisingly positive impact on employment progression.”
MacCoille: “And yet, you’re, this study comes down for a replacement. Why?”
Gray: “It does, I think the merits of giving the levels of subsidy that the State gave for JobBridge – in a labour market where unemployment is much different than when this scheme was introduced has changed. There was also a number of very positive aspects of JobBridge but some areas of dissatisfaction…”
MacCoille: “With the money particularly?”
MacCoille: “No surprise.”
Gray: “No surprise on that, yeah.”
MacCoille: “Now, so, because there is going to be consultation before this, the precise terms and conditions, as I said, of this are announced for the new year. What, from what you’ve, this study, what would you recommend?”
Gray: “So the Indecon economists have recommended a much more targeted scheme. One where employers enhance skills – most employers already enhance skills as part of JobBridge but we want to ensure that a greater proportion of interns are learning new skills. We also want to ensure a lower level of State subsidy and contributions from employers, who are also benefiting…”
MacCoille: “Because there was none on this scheme...”
Gray: “There was none at all.”
MacCoille: “And you’re saying it should be what?”
Gray: “We’re saying that employers should at least pay the top-up level which was €52 and that, after three months, all interns must receive at least the minimum wage.”
MacCoille: “Which is €9.25 an hour.”
MacCoille: “What about, because this came up with JobBridge constantly and you can guess it will come up with whatever replaces it – regulation, investigation, ensuring that the spirit of the thing is actually the reality for everyone?”
Gray: “I think that was important, particularly in a scheme that was so large and was almost an emergency measure to the level of unemployment. It was hard to ensure adequate monitoring.”
MacCoille: “And was there enough?”
Gray: “I don’t think so, Cathal. It was understandable because the scheme was being introduced in a crisis period, it had a lot of benefits and interns but we’re recommending a more targeted scheme, probably a lower number of participants but more active monitoring and control.”
MacCoille: “The new scheme, as I understand it, would be the medium and long-term unemployed?”
Gray: “That hasn’t been decided yet. One of the benefits of the existing scheme is it was early intervention so that people, as soon as they became unemployed, once they were unemployed for a short period, they got the benefits of JobBridge – that kept them close to the labour market and probably enhanced the employment market.”
MacCoille: “Just coming back to the regulation issue…”
MacCoille: “…which is key. In terms of the way the, even the way the thing is regarded by everybody – quite apart from people who may have, you know, are losing out because they’re getting a hard time, they’re not getting what they should get out of the scheme – so, how should the regulation be better?”
Gray: “I think case officers from the Department of Social Protection should monitor it at a number of points during the internship at the start, during the internship and at the end. But I think the regulation aspect has got more media attention than it actually deserves, Cathal. While there were problems, it wasn’t the major issue and 70% of interns experienced that they had quality work experience and that’s different than some anecdotal evidence that was reported in the media. And one thing to say on that is our research surveyed over 10,000 interns. So it wasn’t just a random bits of feedback and most interns were very satisfied/.”
MacCoille: “Sure, I suppose though, the problem is, if you’re one of the dissatisfied ones – and you’ve good reason to be dissatisfied, well then, that’s for you. That’s a real personal setback. And therefore, we need to ensure that that doesn’t happen, in so far as we can.”
Gray: “I fully accept that, Cathal. And that’s why we’ve recommended a tightening of eligibility criteria. A contribution from employers which will minimise the possibility of rogue employers using it and also enhanced monitoring.”
MacCoille: “And give them a greater investment in the thing – if they’re putting some of their own money into it.”
The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has today published its final tranche of reviews – 30 in total – of child safeguarding practice within certain orders and congregations.
The NBSCCC is a church-run organisation and reviews are done on an invitation basis.
The 30 reviews – which can be accessed here – related to complaints made between January 1, 1975 and the period of the review which began in December 2015.
Overall, the reviews found there 288 allegations made against 90 priests, brothers or sisters with just 10 criminal convictions arising from those complaints.
The allegations relate to the period between 1950 and 2002 with one incident in 2013.
In relation to the Society of Divine Saviour (Salvatorians), the NBSCCC found the following in relation to a now deceased priest, referred to only as Fr A:
“Information received from the Salvatorians, indicate that there was one priest who ministered in Ireland against whom there were allegations of child sexual abuse. According to the Salvatorian case file, there is knowledge of 9 named children who were abused by Fr. A.”
“However, behind the small numbers recorded is this one case of a prolific, long term abuser of children, there is information on file which suggests, by his own admission Fr. A had abused in excess of 100 children, mostly girls in the age range 6 years to 9 years of age, in various parts of Ireland; but Fr. A did not provide the names of these children when making this admission.”
“Fr. A served as a Salvatorian priest from the time of his ordination in the 1950s to the time of his death, in 2009.”
“He worked as a teacher and a seminary lecturer in the UK, a member of the General Council of the Order in Rome, a parish priest in an Australian and in a Dublin parish, and as a congregational archivist and hospital Chaplain in Rome.”
“His abuse began early in his priesthood and lasted at least until 2004.”
“Fr. A was accused in 2002 by a female relative of abusing her when she was a child; and from reviewing the case files this appears to be the first allegation that was made known to the congregation.”
“While it is difficult from the written records to be completely sure of when his Provincial was first made aware of this allegation, Fr. A was withdrawn by the then Provincial from his parish in Dublin in December 2002.”
“By that time Fr. A had been assessed, though it is noted that Fr. A had arranged this assessment himself. The advice of the assessing professional was that, while the abuse alleged did happen, it was probably a once-off event.”
“He did however state that it would probably be wise not to allow Fr. A to have ministry that allowed him access to children. The Provincial wrote to the Archbishop of Dublin informing him that he was withdrawing Fr. A from the parish, and he implied that this was due to the stress of his responsibilities there.”
“The Provincial however did not inform the Archbishop of the real reason for withdrawing the priest; and he subsequently arranged for him to take up a position in the congregation’s archives at the congregation’s Motherhouse in Rome.”
“…As nobody in Rome had been made aware that there were child protection concerns about Fr. A, he was not supervised in any way while he worked in Rome.”
“To date the congregation has not received any allegations relating to Fr. A’s time spent in Rome as an archivist and hospital chaplain.”
“It is recorded that Fr. A returned in May 2004 on holidays to the Dublin parish from which he had previously been withdrawn, and that he said Mass and mixed with parishioners there. It is not recorded on file whether this was Fr. A’s only visit to Ireland following his posting to Rome in early 2003.”
“The Salvatorians are currently investigating an allegation from a woman who was abused as a child by a priest in that Dublin parish in 2004; during which time Fr. A was back on holidays ministering in the parish; it has not been confirmed that the respondent priest was Fr A.”
“…Fr. A was convicted of child sexual abuse in December 2007. The case related to his abuse of ‘several girls over a 25-year period. He was given a custodial sentence of four years with all but 18 month suspended.”
“Fr. A was released from prison in early 2009… He died later that year.”
The NBSCCC found the following 19 orders or congregations had no allegations made against them while they have no or limited ministry with children in Ireland: Alexian Brothers; Benedictine Monks – Stamullen; Franciscans Conventual; Franciscan Renewal – Limerick and Derry; Marianists; Sons of Divine Providence; Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre; Blessed Sacrament Sisters; Carmelites – Aged and Infirm – Dalkey; Carmelites – Enclosed – x 10; Clarissian Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament; Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton; Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady; Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; La Retraite Sisters; Missionaries of Charity – NON CORI; Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver; Poor Clares – Enclosed x 6.
Little note left by a couple who regularly visit the Trocadero. It’s lovely to get a compliment, but I hate to think they might have been treated differently by anyone in the hospitality industry or anyone in Dublin!