Tag Archives: Terry Prone

Terry Prone of the Communications Clinic and former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at the Public Accounts Committee on July 13, 2017

An Garda Siochana paid the Communications Clinic €10,400  and €92,955 in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Further to this…

On Thursday, July 13, 2017.

The former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was asked about this sum of €92,955 by Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry, in a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee.

Ms O’Sullivan told the committee the money would have been used to train gardai to deal with local radio and media.

She said:

“As part of our modernisation and renewal programme, we have committed to opening up the organisation. I do not have the exact breakdown here, but maybe some of my colleagues do.

The moneys would again have been spent on training Garda and civilian members around the country for interaction with local radio and local media, for example, on some of the information messages that would have gone out around Operation Thor and the “lock up and light up” campaign.

“Again, we can provide an exact breakdown or maybe some of my colleagues would have it, but that is what it would have been.”

When Mr MacSharry specifically asked Ms O’Sullivan if she had attended any media training sessions with the PR firm, Ms O’Sullivan said:

No. Maybe it is an opportunity, if I may Chair, to do something. I have seen a lot of speculation and commentary. Particularly, I think there was a figure of €140,000 mentioned which apparently I spent in terms of preparing for Committee of Public Accounts meetings. That is completely untrue. I have never received any preparatory training. Like yourself, Chair, I am not sure where that reporting came from. Certainly, no, I did not.

Mr MacSharry attempted to clarify further when they had this exchange:

Marc MacSharry:So the €92,000 was for people who would have to be spokespeople for local radio after a crime or were being consulted on an issue or something.”

Ms Nóirín O’Sullivan: “And, for example, district offices. As the Deputy will have seen, one of the criticisms we have received is that we are insular and defensive. Some of the inspectorate reports quite rightly raised the fact we need to speak more openly to the media. The Deputy would have seen a lot of our local officers around the country engaging more with the media. We have found that part of public reassurance is to get on local radio stations in particular and give out messages of reassurance and crime prevention and stories of interest to local communities.”


Yesterday, John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reported that the Disclosures Tribunal is examining advice which Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic, gave to the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan in May, 2016.

Ms Prone gave this advice after it emerged that claims made by Ms O’Sullivan’s senior counsel during the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation in 2015 – that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was acting out of malice – were proven to be untrue and journalists were asking Ms O’Sullivan for a comment about the same.

Mr Mooney reported:

The tribunal has been notified of email exchanges between senior gardai and Prone from May 2016, when the PR executive was consulted on the wording of a statement issued by the garda press office in response to media queries about O’Sullivan’s approach to McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission hearings.

“…Charleton has been given statements and documents that show Garda Headquarters held a meeting to discuss how it would respond to the issues identified by O’Higgins. The Garda press office later released three statements on the report and the leaked transcripts.

“Prone advised O’Sullivan on the second statement, which was released by the garda press office. It was an attempt to clarify the then commissioner’s role after newspapers published transcripts of the commission’s hearings. The statement, released on May 16, quoted O’Sullivan as saying she believed “dissent was not disloyalty” and she never regarded McCabe as malicious. It added that she was legally precluded from commenting on matters discussed at the commission.

“Charleton has been told the statement was circulated by O’Sullivan to Garda Headquarters on a private Gmail account, which deleted emails after 30 days, before its release. Copies were retained by Garda Headquarters as they were sent to official accounts. The email thread shows Prone had advised O’Sullivan.”


Two separate attempts earlier this year, by journalists Ali Bracken, of the Irish Daily Mail, and Ken Foxe, to obtain details of An Garda Siochana’s hiring of the Communications Clinic, under the Freedom of Information Act, have been rejected.

Specifically, Mr Foxe sought “copies of any emails between the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and PR consultant Terry Prone or the Communications Clinic during the period in which those services were provided to AGS.”

In addition.

The Department of Justice paid the Communications Clinic €2,336, €756 and €24,221 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice released a series of emails which showed how, on Saturday, July 4, 2015, RTÉ journalist John Burke sent a press query to the Garda Press Office.

Mr Burke asked about the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s counsel questioning Sgt Maurice McCabe’s motivation at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.

Subsequent to this, in an email from the Department of Justice Secretary General Office Assistant Secretary Ken O’Leary to the then Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, Mr O’Leary stated Ms O’Sullivan phoned him “to let me know they had received queries from Colm O’Nongain [sic] about Sgt McCabe”.

Mr O’Leary added that the Garda Press Office was asked “was it the Garda Commissioner who had instructed counsel to adopt an aggressive stance towards Sgt McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission”.

He told Ms Fitzgerald: “The Gardai are not commenting.”

He then went on to advise Ms Fitzgerald, who was scheduled to appear on RTE’s This Week on Sunday, July 5, 2015, to say the following:

“Both the Garda Commissioner [Noirin O’Sullivan] and myself have made it clear that Sgt McCabe is a valued member of the Force.”

She was also advised to say she couldn’t comment on the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation and that:

“…it would be wrong of anyone to make public comment which might interfere with or attempt to influence those proceedings in any way.”

In addition, Mr O’Leary also told Ms Fitzgerald that she could say:

“It would be wrong of anyone to make public comment which might interfere with or attempt to influence those proceedings in any way. The Commission clearly has to be let take its course.”

In the end, Ms Fitzgerald wasn’t asked about the matter when she appeared on RTE’s This Week on Sunday, July 5, 2015.

O’Sullivan ‘advised’ by PR guru about McCabe (John Mooney, The Sunday Times)

Previously: Getting Their Story Straight

Reputable History

Our Worst Fears

Five Years After

Was The Communications Clinic Hired To Deal With Mission To Prey Before It Was Even Broadcast?

Committee transcript via Oireachtas.ie


Risteard Cooper as Terry Prone on last night’s ‘Apres Match Presents Election 1982 ‘on RTÉ

Did you stay in last night?

Rory writes:

I am surprised you haven’t mentioned the highlight of the campaign so far. RTÉ partially redeemed themselves last night for their abysmal, biased, fearful general election coverage (don’t get me started)  thanks to Apres Match. The uncanny Terry Prone take off [at link below], in particular left me, well…prone…..credit where it’s due, fair play in fairness, etc, etc.

Watch here

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 19.40.43Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 19.25.37

Keelin Shanley, Terry Prone and Stephen Collins on RTÉ One’s Campaign Daily yesterday

Asked yesterday if he regretted making a comment about ‘whingers’ in his Mayo constituency, Taoiseach Enda Kenny fulminated:

“No I don’t. Some of them wouldn’t know sunshine if they saw it.”

Chairman of The Communications Clinic Terry Prone and Stephen Collins, political editor of The Irish Times, shared their impartial thoughts on this with RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley on RTÉ One’s Campaign Daily yesterday.

Readers may wish to note that the close links between Ms Prone’s Communications Clinic and Fine Gael were never mentioned during the item. G’wan the RTÉ.

Keelin Shanley: “Is that a good idea? To go to your own constituency and say that you’re champion whingers? Not all of ye, but some of ye?”

Terry Prone: “Well, I think that there’s a certain truth in what he says in a general, geographic sense…”

Shanley: “But do you need that truth at this point?”

Prone: “Joe Duffy could not survive on a daily basis, were it not for the fact that the Irish public are the most magnificent whingers. I think that it indicates something that is profound in this campaign that I think it was believed, at a strategic level, in Government, from both parties, that yes, the recovery had happened and any places that it hadn’t happened, it was purely geographic. There’s a lot of individual people who have not been reached by it, who are complaining very loudly and they need to be sensitively addressed in the coming week.”

Shanley: “And do you think that was sensitively addressing them, Stephen?”

Stephen Collins: “Well, the whingers, I think we are a nation of whingers, it’s been, going back to James Joyce, we’ve always, I think even recognised in ourselves that we like to whinge. Some people, of course, have legitimate reasons to whinge, some people don’t. But they whinge nonetheless. As Terry says, where would Joe Duffy’s programme be without the whingers of Ireland. But it’s probably not a great idea to say it but I’m not sure…”

Shanley: “If you were teetering and you got called a whinged, I don’t know that it would work for me.”

Collins: “I think that people who are, the real hardcore whingers are not going to vote Fine Gael anyway. I think that’s the bottom line. I think a lot of people who would be supporting Fine Gael would be the kind of people who would identify with what Enda Kenny is saying there. So I think his own constituency, I mean not talking about Mayo, but his national constituency wouldn’t be that worried about that…”

Watch back in full here

Previously: Another Fine Mess


Terry Prone at the Image magazine Network Breakfast at the Marker Hotel, Dublin discussing workplace harmony this morning.


Previously: Terry Prone On Workplace Harmony

Kate Fitzgerald on broadsheet


Terry Prone

Ahead of a talk on Friday morning for Image magazine on workplace relations, Terry Prone shared with the title what she “looks for in a work colleague and how to appropriately confront and overcome issues in the workplace”.

As the reporter notes, Ms Prone’s answers are “clear and concise and jam-packed with pearls of wisdom”. To wit:

How do you recommend people make a stand about issues they are unhappy with at work?

“Be unsurprised, sometimes shit happens. Talk to an outside expert, they’ll be able to give you an open, honest answer and a fresh perspective. And never, ever, ever talk to a lawyer.”

What are your top tips for managing internal politics in an office environment?

“It’s very simple: Don’t get involved. Get along with everybody. And if that doesn’t work, then that workplace is not the one for you, it’s time to get out.”

What makes a good colleague?

“Diligence, discretion and a sense of humour. First, work out your objective, you need to figure out exactly how you want the issue to proceed. Don’t ever start with the desire to get something off your chest. Road to no-town. Once you have a clear head, examine who needs to be influenced, work out how best to influence them.”

What makes a good boss?

“Diligence, discretion, a sense of humour, the capacity to take the helicopter view and the ability to damp down your emotional neediness.

Terry Prone On Creating A Harmonious Workplace (Image)

Previously: Kate Fitzgerald on Broadsheet

Image: Image

Thanks Fiona

Will he, won’t he?


Brian Keogh writes:

Two sources insist that McIlroy was at the Quinta do Lago golf resort in Portugal last week — a complex owned by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, who has become friendly with the four-time major winner.


McIlroy injury saga: PGA comeback planned say insiders (Brian Keogh, Irish Golf Desk

McIlroy plans Saturday practice round at Whistling Straits (Reuters)




Saskia Weber and Terry Prone of the Communications Clinic

You may recall the unresolved Tuam Babies saga.

During the Summer, French documentary maker Saskia Weber sought access to members of the order running the Mother and Baby home at the centre of this international story..

The reply was swift.


And fairly blunt, in fairness.

In reality, between 1925-1961 when the home was run by the Bon Secours Order of nuns, 79 per cent of children born there died there.

The whereabouts of their bodies are unknown.

Even the head of the order conceded to one relative:

bon secours

And if she doesn’t know…

Meanwhile, Ms Weber’s documentary will be shown on France 3 by independent producers Sunset Presse, whose Les Blanchisseuses de Magdalen (1998) inspired the making of The Magdalene Sisters (2002).


PR works.

Saskia email Via Kevin Higgins

French TV Documentary (JPRodgers)