Tag Archives: Vincent Browne

Lucia O’Farrell

Lucia O’Farrell appeared on TV3′s Tonight With Vincent Browne Show last night to discuss the case of her son Shane who was killed by a hit-and-run driver outside Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan on August 2, 2011

The man who struck Shane was Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania.

He was acquitted of dangerous driving causing death and he was given the choice of eight months in jail or to leave Ireland within 21 days. He chose the latter with appalling consequences.

Later, Senator David Norris said  he had contacted Justice Minister Alan Shatter about the case. and was told the family might consider counselling.

Lucia O’Farrell: “Shane was 23, he returned from college and he was to take part in a triathlon and, after having something to eat, he went out on his bike, a beautiful summer’s evening on the second of August 2011. When he hadn’t returned, Jim, my husband, and I went out and found that he had been killed in a hit and run. He was our only son, our lives had been destroyed but he was tossed on the road and left to die alone on the road in a hit and run. We were told it was a crime scene. They had nobody at the time for it.”

Vincent Browne: “And you were told that he was carried on the roof of the car for quite a distance?”

O’Farrell: “That subsequently came out in the court because they found fabrics of this clothing on the roof bonnet and windscreen of the car.”

Browne: “Right and the person who almost certainly was involved in this was a Lithuanian and he had a track record, prior to then, tell us a bit about that.”

O’Farrell: “He had come into the country, apparently he was known to Interpol. He was up for convictions for aggravated burglary, theft, road traffic offences, damage to property…”

Browne: “That was outside the country, before coming here?”

O’Farrell: “Yes, yes, and then he had 40 convictions in total on the evening of the second of August, when he killed Shane.”

Browne: “That was in Ireland?”

O’Farrell: “No, in Lithuania, Northern Ireland and here.”

Browne: “Right.”

O’Farrell: “He was well-known to the PSNI, he had served custody in the south of Ireland for heroin, he had a long criminal history, he was on a peace bond, he was on a suspended sentence, north and south of the Border, he was driving a defective vehicle, he was uninsured, he had falsified his documents since coming into the country…”

Browne: “And wasn’t there an instance where he was given a suspended sentence, subject to good behaviour, and then he was convicted of another offence and the judge in the second case was unaware of what had happened previously. The gardai failed to tell them.”

O’Farrell: “Well the reason Shane is dead is because of total Garda failure. In January 2011, seven months before Shane was killed, this man had received a ten-month sentence and it was adjourned for a year in the Circuit Court, for him to be of good behaviour with permission to bring him back at any stage if he reoffended, but four months after that decision in the Circuit Court, and I saw that order, he was up for five consecutive days of theft in another court room and the judge was unaware that he was to be brought back and gave him a four-month suspended sentence. The guards should have brought him back when he reoffended. So he now, in May, got a four-month suspended sentence and went on to kill our son. He legally shouldn’t have been on the road.”

Browne: “Right. And subsequent to the killing of your son there were further bizarre…”

O’Farrell: “Yes there were plenty of opportunities for the guards to prevent this happening. On the 6th of July, three weeks before he killed Shane, this car was killed up by the Drugs Squad, he was well known to them and he was found with a substance and charred tinfoil. Apparently this man snorted his heroin. He would put a lighter under the tinfoil and he snorted his heroin and instead of confiscating or seizing the car and preventing him driving this man was allowed continue to drive and hold a driving licence, which a person snorting heroin behind the steering wheel of a car is not conducive, because side effects of heroin…”

Browne: “OK, and in the hours before the incident, resulting in the death of your son, the gardaí were also involved?”

O’Farrell: “He was pulled up again an hour before he killed our son because the number was known to the Drugs Squad. He was found with two other Lithuanian heroin addicts, the driver was uninsured, they took them out and searched them, this car had no NCT certificate, it was driven by an uninsured driver and they were waved on. Within an hour our son was dead.”

Browne: “Subsequent to the death of your son, there were further bizarre twists to the story?”

O’Farrell: “Following killing Shane?” Continue reading


[Top: Caroline Dunne in an interview broadcast on Tonight With Vincent Browne last night and, above, Garda whistleblower John Wilson's 2011 complaint about the profiling of children on the Garda PULSE system]

Irish Examiner journalist, Michael Clifford; former Irish Independent journalist, Gemma O’Doherty; Fianna Fáil TD, Sean Fleming; and Pavee Point co-director, Martin Collins appeared on TV3′s Tonight With Vincent Browne last night.

They discussed the matter of Traveller children being placed on PULSE and being given criminal intelligence numbers – some allegedly as young as 16 days old.

It followed Ms O’Doherty’s story in The Sunday Times in which she told how the two children of Caroline Dunne, a Traveller who lives in Cork, were placed on the PULSE system after Ms Dunne went to a garda station to get passport forms signed in 2011.

Ms Dunne’s children, Francis and Mary, were aged two and one at the time. Ms Dunne first learned about her children being on PULSE when Ms O’Doherty told her at the weekend.

During last night’s show, Vincent played a video interview between Ms Dunne and Lisa-Marie Berry.

Caroline Dunne: “When I got told this, I’ll be honest with you, I couldn’t believe it. I was more in shock than anything else. The person, like, the person that informed me, she actually had to repeat three or four times to me, I did not know what she was on about. This kind of information on this thing about my kids, it just, I was shocked to be honest about it, I was. To think that the guards could do something like this, if you can’t trust the guards, who can you trust? And to put something like this, up on the PULSE system about a baby, my little girl at 13 months old? She was barely walking, barely talking, still in nappies and to put information on the PULSE system about my baby is just totally wrong, it’s a disgrace.”

Lisa-Marie Berry: “How does it make you feel, as a mother?”

Dunne: “It makes me extremely angry, really, really angry to think that someone was spying on my kids, holding information about my kids on the PULSE system. To think that could happen to kids, it’s just a disgrace at this day and age, the 21st century, it’s just not right, it’s not on. And they’re talking about Travellers, discrimination, like this is discrimination against Traveller kids. They’re not going to make it nowhere if this keeps on continuing, it has to stop, it has to be taken down. But can it be taken down?”

Berry: Can you think of any reason why the gardaí would keep such intelligence on your children?

Dunne: “They have no right to put something like that on a PULSE system, no right and that goes for every Traveller child that, every settled child that’s out there, they have no right to do that to them. Whatever anyone else surrounding them or their dad, or anything like that has done in the past, that doesn’t concern my kids, that has nothing got to do with, they’re only kids at the end of the day. Yes they are Traveller kids, whatever, but they’re discriminating them there to be honest about it. If someone say, out of Dublin 4 went into a local garda station to get their family’s passports signed would they be put on the PULSE system? That’s what I would like to know. Why my kids or why any other Traveller child? Why had they to be put on this?”

Berry: “What would you like to happen now?”

Dunne: “For an explanation, to why my two kids have been put on to this PULSE system and can they be taken off it? And I’m calling on a meeting to meet with the Minister for Justice, to meet in the Dáil on Thursday to give me an explanation why this has happened to two kids.”

Later host Vincent Browne read out a statement from the gardaí, saying:

“There is no restriction on the minimum age for recording a person’s details on PULSE. This is due to the fact that persons both adult and children, of all ages, may be subject to garda investigation – either as a victim, a witness, a potential suspect of crime or as an injured party as a result of an accident.”

He added:

“And when you just go through that, they’re saying that it’s legitimate to put the details of a child on PULSE if they are a victim of a crime, well in this instance they weren’t; a witness, well neither of them looked as though they would be witnesses to a crime; a potential suspect of a crime, how could they be potential suspects of a crime?; or as an injured party as a result of an accident, they weren’t that. So what was the reason for it? This is more of the carry-on that goes on.”


Browne: “The Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes said that he could not comment on this particular case as no complaint has been received in relation to the matter. As a consequence, he’s not in a position to assess whether any issues arise from the Data Protection…”

Martin Collins (Pavee Point): “Can I just clarify that. These rumours in relation to the PULSE system have been swirling around now for a number of months, at least three or four months. My organisation, not me personally but my colleagues at Pavee Point actually met GSOC [Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission] and the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office on this very issue. So it has been brought to their attention. We’re awaiting a response.”

Browne: “Was there a complaint made?”

Collins: “Yes.”

Browne: “Are you sure there was a complaint made?”

Collins: “Yes, well I understand, from speaking to my colleagues this evening, that yes, a complaint has been made. There was a discussion certainly with the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office and GSOC but in relation to the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office that was a discussion and then subsequently in, it was indicated to them that yes, an official complaint has been made.”

Browne: “And when you went to GSOC what happened?”

Collins: “Yes well they heard the case, our arguments, and we’re awaiting a response.”

Watch back in full here

Previously: “It Feels Like We’re Being Spied On”

Traveller Children And PULSE

Early Profiling

Fingers On The PULSE

90271261[Vincent Browne]

To the rugby fans and players.

A kick in the Gilberts.

The image many of us males have of what it means to be a man, is disturbing and it doesn’t much differ from the rugby world’s ideal. One feature it surely does not include is homosexuality – the ideal man, hegemonic man, is certainly heterosexual, perhaps aggressively so. A bit prone to violence or at least “able to look after himself” – ie able to beat the bejasus out of anyone who challenges him. A capacity to drink enormous amounts of pints – sensibly of course – is almost de rigeur. And being a good man with the girls, lots of girls.
The posh private all-male schools do their bit to engender this culture, as does the media and, classically, rugby does it too. Less so the GAA and, I think, soccer.
It isn’t just the social boorishness that is the problem with this, it is the homophobia, the misogyny, or at least the patriarchy that goes with it – the idea that the world is there for the men, the business, political and professional world certainly, although to put a decent gloss on it in modern times we let the women in a bit. But for the most part women are there for decoration, sex and procreation, of course…”


Haze him.

Fuppin pansy!

A mature discussion!

Painful Truth About Rugby Culture (Vincent Browne, (rish Times)

[Former Garda John Wilson on TV3's Tonight With Vincent Browne last night]

“I just want to say, in relation to Sgt [Maurice] McCabe that I believe that Commissioner [Martin] Callinan should be proud to have a member of the calibre of Maurice McCabe as a member of our police service and I am demanding now, in the public interest, on behalf of the Irish people, that Commissioner Callinan restores Sgt McCabe’s full access to the Garda PULSE system with immediate effect. And I am making that demand in the public interest.”

Former garda John Wilson on the Tonight with Vincent Browne Show last night.

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe has been banned from using PULSE since mid-December 2012.

Watch back in full here

Previously: The Thin Blue Timeline


[Justice Minister Alan Shatter in the Dáil last night]

Last night in the Dáil, Justice Minister Alan Shatter referred again to Section 80(5) the Garda Síochána Act 2005 in relation to the non-reporting of the surveillance sweep undertaken by GSOC to the minister before outlining that other sections provided for GSOC to tell him.

He said:

It is true that section 80(5) of the 2005 Act provides that GSOC may make a report to me in the
circumstances I have described, but this is better described as an enabling provision rather than a purely discretionary one. In other words, it should be used in circumstances contemplated by the provision. In that context, I don’t think that any reasonable person would regard concerns of the nature we are discussing as anything other than grave or exceptional. I am not sure how anyone could sensibly argue the opposite in circumstances where this issue has dominated the TV and radio news for days on end, has been the subject of countless newspaper headlines and articles, was the subject of statements in this House last week, is the subject of a motion in the House this evening, and is being examined as a matter of urgency by a Joint Committee of both Houses.

Even apart from this, however, there is the separate obligation in section 103 of the 2005 Act. Section 103 provides that GSOC, where it launches a section 102 investigation, shall inform the Minister of the progress and results of the investigation. An exception to this strict requirement is allowed in only three circumstances, namely where supplying the information would prejudice a criminal investigation or prosecution; would jeopardise a person’s safety; or for any other reason would not be in the public interest. The first two exceptions are irrelevant. As regards the third, I find it impossible to see how it would not be in the public interest for the Minister to be advised of an investigation in these circumstances.




On Tonight with  Vincent Browne with  Former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness, Sunday Times security correspondent John Mooney, Labour Senator Susan O’Keeffe and Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins addressed the relevancy of the the Garda Síochana Act to the GSOC ‘situation’.

They also discussed how Mr Shatter has refused to confirm whether or not he has signed a warrant to allow for the surveillance of journalists and how Mr Shatter has not been asked if he signed a warrant for the bugging of GSOC’s phone.

Vincent Browne: “First of all, let’s deal with the legal issue. Catherine, a former Supreme Court judge, do you think really there’s any possible reading of Section 80 of the Garda Siochána Act 2005 that requires GSOC to inform the Minister for Justice of what it’s doing.”

Catherine McGuinness: “Well, looking at the text I would have said that there wasn’t an absolute requirement, certainly you could possibly say they might have a discretionary, a discretionary need to make a requirement to talk to the minister about something that was particularly grave. But I do think it’s left to their own discretion. But, in any case, I really do think that too much is being made of this, about whether the minister was told or the minister was not told. Certainly, from the point of view of GSOC when you look at what has happened – when the minister did hear about it, do you wonder that they didn’t tell him in the first place, you know?”

Browne: “That’s a separate issue. I’m just just talking about the legal thing – was there a legal requirement to tell them under Section 80 of the Garda Síocána Act 2005. He went on to say that, under Sections 102 and 103, there was clearly a requirement on them to inform him. And, I, I can’t, I think this is quite amazing. 102 says, it applies to a situation where a Garda Commissioner asks GSOC to enquire about something or when the Minister asks GSOC to enquire about something – then there is a requirement on GSOC to inform the minister, that’s…”

McGuinness: “Yes”

Browne: “That’s what it amounts to.”

McGuinness: “Yes.”

Browne: “Neither…”

McGuinness:These things haven’t happened.”

Browne: “These things hadn’t happened so it’s totally irrelevant.”

McGuinness: “I think that 102 is dealing with particular issues, particular issues that may arise like when the, as you have said, and I don’t think they’re connected with this particular situation. I was puzzled when I, frankly, I was puzzled when the minister said this.”

Browne: “It’s amazing that a solicitor, admittedly he spent most of his time in Family Law, but amazing that a solicitor can’t read and Act and understand it, isn’t it?”


John Mooney: “This all arises out of a public interest inquiry that GSOC ran into collusion between a drug trafficker called Kieran Boylan, from Co. Louth, and members of a now disbanded elite unit of gardaí in Dublin. There were a lot of tensions in that as part of that inquiry. GSOC have been on the record about Garda management withheld documents from them, some documents weren’t furnished at all. That is because this individual was involved in extra-judicial operations, whereby he was trafficking drugs and setting up low-level people. But I think that there’s an issue in that file, in so far as there were weapons and drugs transported at one stage, through European countries.”

Browne: “Was there a remark made by Garda Síochána…”

Talk over each other

Mooney: “If you just let me finish the story. But, during that, we published a number of stories in The Sunday Times about what was happening and, at one point, a senior member of Garda management rang GSOC and threatened to use analysts to find out where we were getting our information from and because it was accurate. If we continue on into a couple of months until last summer, there was, Simon O’Brien, I understand had a meeting, where they decided to take a section of the report, out of the report, prior to publication and, a couple of weeks on, the deletion of that particular section of a report was mentioned to Simon O’Brien.”

Browne: “By whom?”

Mooney: “That was by Martin Callinan. At that point I understand that sent a lot of panic, shockwaves through the Commission, they were very concerned about their own internal security while they may have had fears a couple of weeks prior to that and may have been considering, certainly, bringing in countersurveillance measures. I think when these specific remarks were made they put the cat amongst the pigeons and I think that prompted them into very specific course of action.”


Browne: “Just one further issue I want to pursue with you…and it concerns that if the Garda Síochána believe that a crime had been committed within GSOC to do with release, leaking of confidential information, they would have been justified in undertaking the tapping of phones but in order to do that legally, they would have had to get the authorisation of the Minister for Justice…”

Mooney: “Well I put that question to Alan Shatter last week and he’s refused to comment on whether he signed a warrant, which allowing any sort of surveillance on media organisations or journalists, in particular.”

Browne: “But, GSOC, did he sign an authorisation for the tapping of GSOC’s phones?”

Mooney: “Well I thought it was very noteworthy that Simon O’Brien refused to ask him that particular question.”

Browne: “How do you know that..?”

Mooney: “Because he gave evidence to that..”

Niall Collins: “He said that in the committee last week.”

Browne: “That he didn’t ask if his phone was tapped?”

Mooney: “He didn’t specifically ask Alan Shatter if he’d signed a warrant..”

Collins: “He was asked that question at the committee by Clare Daly…”

Mooney: “And he said he chose not to ask the minister that particular question. I think Simon O’Brien is an English police officer who may be suffering from disbelief at the way these matters are dealt with in this country.”

Watch back here.


McGuinnesss Vincennt

Fianna Fáil TD and chair of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness was on Tonight With Vincent Browne, following members of Irish Water and the Department of the Environment appearing before the committee last night. They talked after they saw a clip from the meeting, in which Secretary General of the Department of the Environment, Geraldine Tallon told the PAC she didn’t speak to Environment Minister Phil Hogan ‘in specific terms’ about consultancy costs.

Mr McGuinness then spoke about how, during the meeting, it emerged €5.7million was spent on a County Managers’ Group – baffling Vincent and indeed others.

Vincent Browne: “John were you impressed by the evidence given [, concerning Phil Hogan not knowing that €50million had been paid to consultants?"

John McGuinness: "I think that the performance, in terms of the Department, Irish Water, or indeed the [Energy] Regulator – they were fine. But they raise a lot more questions and we’re talking here about the content of the answers and, whether or not, the answers are believable. And, quite frankly, I don’t see how a department can manage its affairs and not know the detail of the spend. Now..”

Browne: “Wait a minute now, I think, I would have thought, that listening Geraldine Tallon everything she said was believable and what was also believable was what she didn’t say. She was killed in avoiding the specific question.”

McGuinness: “She avoided the question but the fact of the matter is that everyone in the, or people in the department knew about this. Remember that, prior to reaching this point of €50million, and this is something that came out this evening, at the very end of the meeting. That they had a County Managers’ Group to oversee the transition and that that group cost €5.7million.”

Browne: “The County Managers’ Group?”

McGuinness: “Yes.”

Browne: “How did that cost..?”

McGuinness: “It also emerged there was a further report…”

Browne:How did that cost anything?

McGuinness: “I have asked for further information on that, but that’s what the office cost – €5.7m.”

Browne: “What office?”

McGuinness: “This particular office that would oversee the transition. Now that was on the back of..”

Browne: “Sorry, I don’t see understand it. But these people, county managers are already paid. And, so, was this travel expenses they were getting? Or what did they get?”

McGuinness: “No, it was a cost of putting together that internal group.”

Browne: “Of county managers?”

McGuinness: “Yes. As to how the €5.7million was spent and what it was for, we have to seek that from, we’ve sought that from the department, in terms of listing out what that €5.7million was for and ongoing costs, because that group apparently…”

Browne: “This is €5.7million for a group of county managers?”

McGuinness: “A group of county managers who, in their own respective counties, would have been responsible for infrastructure and delivery and it turns out now that they were also members of this group that was involved in the transition. And the cost of that operation…”

Browne: “What operation?”

McGuinness: “In terms of the office and in terms of their advising, I presume, it cost €5.7million. So, it was at the end of the meeting and we’ve asked for..”

Browne: “Let me understand this now. But. I cannot understand how, bar the costs of tea and biscuits and maybe travel costs, that county managers coming together would cost anything?”

McGuinness: “But Vincent, I can’t understand it either. It’s a figure that simply, I think, amazed people of the Public Accounts Committee and it’s a figure that was sort of dropped in at the end of the meeting, after I asked the question. But the point I’m making is that, prior to to that, there was report done by a consultant, €180.000 it cost the department. So, all of this didn’t just happen yesterday. There was a build-up to all this information and all of these costings and the figures. And it was known by the, cause I asked the question, it was know by the MAC in the department, the Management Committee, and that’s made up of political leadership, senior civil servants and so on, and they discuss this whole thing on numerous occasions. So it doesn’t come as any surprise to me that, within the department, they would have known about the €150million, plus the €30million.”

Watch here

Irish Water staff eligible for €7,000 bonuses (RTÉ)


From Irish Times letters:

Sir, – I refer to an article by Vincent Browne (Opinion, August 14th) headed “O’Brien should be confronted regularly by the Moriarty report”.
I am one of Mr Browne’s kick around subjects when he simply cannot be bothered to originate a new topic for readers. For the record, he has written six columns relating to me which are chronically repetitive.
He refers to his indebtedness to me as if to display just how objective and balanced he is. However, the truth is rather different.
There is one highly significant matter which Mr Browne has never made public in any of his columns for The Irish Times (or indeed elsewhere) and that is his eagerness to leave RTÉ and join Newstalk in 2007.
As always, with anything to do with Mr Browne, negotiations were fraught and certainly did not go according to his plan. His “offer” to join the station to go head to head with Pat Kenny was not accepted and I believe that since then he has persistently set out to settle a score.
He has very deliberately withheld this information on every occasion he has written about me and my media interests. Yet he repeats his indebtedness for “bringing me into broadcasting”. But the inconvenient truth is never mentioned.
Your newspaper owes it to its readers to be balanced, objective and fair. In this regard you should inform your readers of the main motivator that drives Mr Browne to such relentless repetition about matters relating to me.
I can only assume that Mr Browne has put The Irish Times in possession of all the facts relating to his failed courtship of Newstalk?
If not, he is practising very questionable journalism. – Yours, etc,
Grand Canal Quay,
Dublin 2.



That certainly all makes total sense.

Well played, comically paranoid billionaire.

Comment On Denis O’Brien (Denis O’Brien, Irish Times Letters)

O’Brien’s record should disbar him from having a disproportionate hold on media (Vincent Browne, Irish Times)

(Photocall Ireland)

FionnannnYou may recall the row as big as a fight between Irish Independent political editor Fionnan Sheahan and Vincent Browne on TV3′s Tonight with Vincent Browne.

It continued backstage.

In the presence of his producer, Browne said to me: “As a result of your disruption to the programme tonight, I will do everything to ensure you never appear on here again.”
He raised his voice.
I raised mine.
He pointed a finger at me.
I pointed a finger at him.
He shouted at me.
I shouted at him.
He swore at me.
I swore at him.
Neither side can particularly claim any credit from the incident – I’m man enough to admit that.
The expletive-ridden conversation would definitely have generated quite a lot of YouTube hits if it had been recorded.
He walked off in a huff to his desk in the corner, repeatedly saying: “F*** off.”
My parting shot was to retort: “You can give it but you can’t f***ing take it, Vincent.”
After leaving the TV3 studios, I pulled the car in to ring Fiach Kelly [whose honour he was defending], who found the entire episode hilarious.
As I related the events of the night to him, I began writing down notes of the exchange with Browne, while it was still fresh in my mind, as I anticipated he would deny banning me from the show.

Fionnan Sheahan.

Like all bullies, Vincent Browne can give it out but he just can’t take it (Independent.ie)


“[Sheahan] said [on air] I hated the Independent and was pro-Irish Times. This went on for a while. After the programme, I said I’d like to talk to him. I was going to say, ‘You cannot come out here and hijack the programme to raise issues not relevant to what we’re discussing.’
I started to say this to him when we went outside and he started shouting.
I said to him that obviously his participation in the programme had caused great stress and I would attempt to ensure there was going to be no repetition of this. He continued to shout at me and I told him what to do with himself. That was it.
“Then, he made a big thing that he was barred from the programme. He’s not barred. We are happy to have him on any time provided we’re satisfied he’s in a fit condition to take part.
“We’d need written affirmation to this effect from three psychiatrists and four obstetricians.”

Vincent Browne

Interview with Liam Fay in The Sunday Times (behind paywall)

Screengrabs: TV3