The Regressive Democrats



It’s all coming out now.


000973559019209090109883richieryanFrom top: Gerard Collins; Maire Geogheghan Quinn; Ray MacSharry and Richie Ryan

“…and the whistleblower alleges Ray MacSharry, Gerard Collins, Maire Geogheghan Quinn, an S Barrett*, Richie Ryan (a former minister for finance) and others…” Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil today.

McDonald claims tax inquiry stopped once Des O’Malley found to be involved (RTÉ) *Not Sean Barratt, the Ceann Comhairle

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland, RTÉ)


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135 thoughts on “The Regressive Democrats

  1. Buzz

    Ho ho ho… Des O’Malley, the former FF’er, what a surprise. Well done Mary Lou, at last someone is spitting it out.

      1. ahyeah

        What? Is that just an anti-SF knee-jerk response from you? Even if what she did constitutes outright abuse of Dail privilige (which I don’t agree it does), we all benefit from it, no?

    1. cluster

      O’Malley would surprise me.

      The former FFer comment is fairly stupid considering O’Malley left FF in opposition to CJH. He supported Colley, the honourable & staid challenger to Haughey’s more dynamic and corrupt persona.

      Anyway Dessie has a plausible explanation. I hope Mary Lou has her facts right & can back them up rather than abusing parliamentary privilege to muddy the waters.

      1. jungleman

        O’Malley said some stuff about Adams a few weeks back on the telly. Perhaps this was payback?

  2. Wayne.F

    Allegations made under Daíl privilege by Mary Lou McDonald, from an secret but “reliable source” (Her Words)

    Yet she still believes that G.Adams was not a member of the IRA! Irish politics is a grim and desolate place

    1. Clampers Outside!

      …there’s a difference to saying you believe something and actually believing it.

      Remember Mary Lou is as capable as any politician of lies and deceit, just look at her track record on denying the sex offenders were released into the south a few weeks ago, and now the Shinners admit there were up to 30.

  3. Alfred E. Neumann

    I’d say Mary Lou went into spasms when she saw “S Barrett” on the list. The can of cola yaar insists it’s not him, though.

    1. Cool_Hand_Lucan

      Most sensible thing I’ve heard all day… and I’ve been reading Sense and Sensibility (it aint all that sensible).

    2. ahjayzis

      Some luck.

      I think under our fabulous constitution removal of pensions amounts to ‘crual and unusual punishment’ or torture. It’s the last thing that would happen. You could massacre a school and retain those bloody pensions.

  4. Optimus Grime

    Ah nothing like sitting back with a tesco own brand brandy and a counterfeit cigar and realising that the people who “innovate” when it comes to taxing us don’t partake in the same!

  5. Buzz

    You know that skit Dylan Moran does about Irish hair, he must have been inspired by this pic of Dessie when he came up with it :)

    1. PaddyM


      Up to now, his main gift to the nation had been automatically giving full driving licences to everybody on a provisional licence in the late 70s because the waiting lists had supposedly become unmanageable.

  6. Daragh McDowell

    Elaine Byrne – who is in a position to know – has pointed out McDonald’s allegations aren’t terribly well founded. And O’Malley has just issued a categorical denial. OP might want to update.

      1. Daragh McDowell

        An expert on corruption issues in Ireland. And O’Malley has just released a full statement that, if confirmed, demonstrates that McDonald’s claims would render her bankrupt if made outside of the Dail.

        1. paul

          “An expert on corruption issues in Ireland.”
          That is debatable and does not but her in a position to dismiss the claims.
          Again I ask, what position is she in to dismiss the claims. Has she read the report?

          1. Daragh McDowell

            Not really – she’s one of the only people to study the issue extensively in an academic format.

            And she’s not ‘dismissing’ the claims. She’s pointing out that they’re not well-founded. MLM has not presented any evidence Harney stopped inquiries to protect O’Malley, or that O’Malley was dodging tax. As a matter of fact, O’Malley has presented a sound explanation for having a GM account, which can be confirmed or disproved, and if confirmed demonstrates he was acting in accordance with high ethical standards.

            MLM is making very, very dubious claims under Dail privilege. It would be nice to think this will backfire, but given the way this is being covered I guess reputational damage to probably innocent people has already been done.

          2. Mark Dennehy

            Wouldn’t be the first time – or the first topic – that saw Dail privilege abused to defame people who could have taken the relevant TDs to the cleaners in court had they said what they said outside of the Dail.

          3. bisted

            …if I am reading Des O’Malley’s statement correctly he’s saying that his money was only resting in that Guinness Mahon account.

          4. paul

            Hmm, I not saying she doesn’t know anything I’m saying how does she the allegations against Dessie are unfounded?

          5. paul

            Hmm, I not saying she doesn’t know anything I’m saying how does she know the allegations against Desie are unfounded?

          6. paul

            Mark, where did i state that she said anything?

            She did say this though:
            “AS I UNDERSTAND IT, the reason Des O’Malley held the G&M account was absolutely not to evade tax”

            Looks like she is dismissing the allegations to me, as i understand it.

          7. Mark Dennehy

            Looks to me like she knew the actual story from her research for her book on the subject, because this isn’t the first time this came up. As even O’Malley says in his denial today.

            And she’s not saying that he’s definitely innocent – she’s saying that simply saying he held that account isn’t sufficient proof because there was more than one legitimate reason to hold such an account. And she’s right. You can’t just stand up in the Dail and say j’accuse and then expect that to count as due process. Places where you can do that tend to get films like The Killing Fields made about them.

          8. paul

            “ABSOLUTELY not to evade tax”

            Sounds like she is saying he is “definitely innocent “.
            For a self-styled campaigner against corruption to make such a statement without any sort of due process is bonkers.

            Gerry Ryan who has actually investigated the claims seems to think there might be a case for Dessie and others to answer but sure if Elaine says not and that is good enough for you that’s fine too.

          9. paul

            “You can’t just stand up in the Dail and say j’accuse and then expect that to count as due process. Places where you can do that tend to get films like The Killing Fields made about them”

            On a separate but not unrelated note, Michael McDowell, who launched Elaines book, did exactly that to an investigative reporter who had done much good work uncovering political and business corruption.

  7. gallantman

    Mary Harney, champion of Celtic Tiger economics, architect of the HSE. Our morbidly obese former Minister for Health.
    I know Bertie takes all the flak but she was worst of all.

    1. CousinJack

      Bertie was a corrupt goon but she was just a vile summary of all that was and is wrong with Ireland

      1. Happy Molloy

        I think the abuse she gets is unfair.

        how many other politician’s do you know who would actually put their hand up for the poison chalice that is the health portfolio?

        whether you liked her politics or not, she certainly appears to be someone of character and integrity.

        and the comments about her appearance and weight… all over the internet… and people wonder why no one takes these places seriously

        1. Mark Dennehy

          The comments about her weight while she was the Minister for Health have at least some merit (they don’t outside of that context). Obesity is a major healthcare issue in Ireland and it’s getting worse, not better. And Bottler is give the same beating (hence his nickname) because he’s morbidly obese as well. You can’t say we’ll only have thin Ministers for Health from now on, but while in office, set an example for pete’s sakes.

          1. Spaghetti Hoop

            Hold the jets there Mr. D…….Bottler is called Bottler because he resembles the original Bottler, aka Brendan Grace.

          2. Mark Dennehy

            The only reason Bottler resembles Brendan Grace is because he’s as obese as Grace was (though that facerug of his doesn’t help). Hence the nickname.

            At least it’s a little more imaginative than just referring to the Minister for Obesity…

        2. delacaravanio

          Wake up, Happy Molloy. She took the job because she intended to do it badly to further the right wing agenda she believes in.

          It’s an article of faith for the PDs and their neoliberal ilk that government=bad and private=good. Therefore her period there saw a worsening of the public hospital system while the private sector were expected to swan in and save the day.

          Ideas like co-location were deliberately designed to subsidise private operators, as were her actions in closing regional hospitals only to be followed months later with announcements of private hospitals opening in their absence. Thank goodness she’s gone before she finally managed to quite literally cement the two-tier health system she did so much to promote.

          She was a fox guarding the henhouse.

          1. Kieran NYC

            So she deliberately screwed up the health service and essentially killed people?

            Right. Another loon.

          2. delacaravanio

            The loon here was the one trying to further impose the invisible hand of the free market to make decisions of life and death. And there’s no doubt that people died because of it. People are dying here every day due to our two tier health service who, if they could afford insurance, would be able to skip waiting lists to get routine surgery.

            Are you so naive that you don’t see that her efforts to – as she put it – “incentivise the system” were nothing more than a euphemism for what you describe as “deliberately screwing up” the health service?

            Harney could have worked to end the two-tier system and introduce universal health care, instead she did everything in her power to further propagate it in the face overwhelming public opposition. Good riddance to her.

          3. cluster

            You may reasonably disagree with her policies but you might present done evidence for her worsening of the health system. There were serious problems with it before her time and there remain serious problems. Laying them all at her door is convenient but not really true or helpful.

            Also, she was not the ‘architect’ of the HSE, that was Michael Martin. But don’t let me get in the way of your self-righteous ranting.

    2. martco

      herself and bottler would make quite the couple alrite

      thought Barrett’s reaction was interesting….

      1. Clampers Outside!

        For some reason I pictured them getting it on… and imagined a dung beetle attempting to mount a large round piece of dung.

        *cups upper lip under lower lip…. stares at the ground… lost in the image*

    3. Cian

      HSE was formed under Michael Martin, something he doesn’t remind us of when he goes on about his “successful” time as MoH – its only the smoking ban.

  8. eamonn clancy

    If Labour don’t pull out of government by this time next week, and maybe, maybe save themselves some face, they never will and it will be the last we’ll ever see of them. As Mr O Malley, Ms Harney and cohorts can testify.

    1. cluster

      That kind of suggestion to politicians baffles me. What face do you save refusing to govern in straitened circumstances?

      They spend their careers trying to get into power but you reckon they should sit it out because it’s easier to win plaudits from the opposition benches.

    1. Bacchus

      Des O’Mally’s recent “memoirs” suggest he has a very selective memory of past events and a pi$$ poor grasp of reality.

      1. cluster

        Maybe but he has quite a plausible explanation.

        Perhaps this explanation is bullish!t but one hopes Mary Lou has some evidence of such. Otherwise she’ll have done small but serious damage to to the idea of whistleblowers and the whole movement against white collar crime.

  9. Dubloony

    From the RTE site:
    “In a statement, Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said: “I have never had an Ansbacher Account. Neither have I ever had an account with Guinness and Mahon Bank.”

    This could get interesting.

    If untrue could blow back spectacularly in MLD’s face. Or not.

    Get the pop corn ready.

    1. Padi

      I have a feeling SF don’t care too much whether this is true or not, they obviously feel there is enough to say there are allegations and say it under Dail privilege. They will see this as job done regardless, the people who they target votes will believe it now whatever the outcome. Sad really.

      1. Buzz

        Give the voters some credit Padi. People don’t believe everything that’s said in the Dail. She has merely started a conversation.

      2. ahyeah

        “the people who they target votes will believe it now whatever the outcome”

        ‘Anyone who votes for SF is an idiot’ is essentially what you’re saying, yes? You do realise that you’re saying a quarter of the country are thick?

        1. Mark Dennehy

          Er, didn’t just under 25% of the electorate vote for FF *just after* the economy tanked last time round?

          Dunno ’bout you, but that says to me that at least a quarter of the country is thick ‘cos you can’t buy that many votes with the budget they left us with…

      3. cluster

        There is an unfortunate air about this of MLM launching half-cocked into an attempt to clear Cahill from the news agenda, dragging politics further into the muck as she does. (It couldn’t be dragged any further into the muck, you say. Of course it could).

        You’d like to think she’d have made damn sure and is ready to back it all up.

        We’ll see

  10. Buzz

    Definitive denial by Des O’Malley. Sounds like a reasonable explanation. Maybe Mary Lou needs to elaborate.

  11. Quint

    Mary Lou and her fellow Shinners holding the moral high ground is quite sickening considering her party’s strong links to murder, bombings, bank robberies and sexual abuse. Could Only happen in Ireland’s deeply dysfunctional political system.

    1. Soundings

      So, any TD from the most popular party in the country (judging by recent opinion polls which put them either on a par with FG at 22% or way ahead of any party at 26%) shouldn’t be allowed hold to account or scrutinise alleged wrong doings by others? And, what, the 22% or 26% that vote for them should be voiceless?

      And anyway, Mary Lou joined Sinn Fein in 1998 after the war in Northern Ireland was over.

      1. Quint

        Soundings – in answer to your first question…YES. And it doesn’t matter when Mary Lou joined, anyone who is a member of Sinn Fein implicitly supported IRA murder campaign.

    2. Neilo

      This is blowback from Kiddyfiddlergate. I’m surprised it’s taken Sinn Féin’s slander machine so long to get in gear.

    3. cluster

      I don’t like MLM et al but she has been elected and if her allegations are correct, she’s right to share them.

      You’d hope she is using this privilege responsibly.

  12. ollie

    o’malley lodged money with Guinness &mahon in 1977, around which time the ansbacher scheme wad established.
    he doesn’t know what g&m did with the money but he does know that it wasn’t lodged with ansbacher, but he never asked them.


  13. rotide

    So Mary Lou names names under priviledge (something she would NEVER do without it), 2 people named offer perfectlly good denials but you still publish all their photos just in case it wasn’t clear what direction the mud was being slung?

    Stay classy BS.

    1. rotide

      See now, if you were on facebook you wouldn’t have to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi in the office.

    2. delacaravanio

      Unless you’re working in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, or the Garda Fraud Office, nobody cares what you’re buying.

  14. Blah

    If I ever get to give a speech in Leinster House, I’m gonna get up there and say

    “A credible whistleblower has told me
    1. Bono is a pox
    2. Mary-Lou drinks the blood of widows
    3. Mick Wallace is a heroin addict
    4. Bishops love sci-fi”

  15. GiGi

    Loved the bit today when the Ceann Comhairle told Mary Lou she couldn’t name names of people who were there to defend themselves in the Dail. I laughed at my television when he tormentedly quipped “And the S. Barrett is not me.”

  16. Insertus

    Lucinda’s gonna be mighty miffed that your headline stole the name for her new political party …
    (after someone told her “the ‘Ra” is taken)

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