Go On Go On Go On


brownebyrneVincent Browne and Elaine Byrne

Academic and corruption expert Elaine Byrne appeared on Tonight with Vincent Browne last night to discuss the recent overturning of certain  findings of the Flood Tribunal.

There’s nothing like hard-hitting current affairs.

And this is nothing like hard-hitting current affairs.

Vincent Browne: “This is just amazing, that the tribunal, that has cost so much, spent years and years in operation, now is forced, Elaine, forced to withdraw findings of corruption against several people and maybe against many, many more, including, probably, Ray Burke.”

Elaine Byrne: “Well, you’ve done a good job there, Vincent of tarring all the tribunals and 15, 20 years of investigations in [one] foul sweep.”

“How did I do that, go on.”

“Well I think it’s important..”

“How did I do that?”

Byrne: “First of all..”

Browne: “How did I do that, Elaine?”

“First of all, I think it’s important to say that in relation to what happened in the Flood/Mahon Tribunal is not necessarily something that is relevant or pertinent to other tribunals of inquiry.”

“I didn’t say it was and nor did I infer it was.”

“I didn’t say you did either.”

“Yes you did. You said that I tarred all tribunals.”

Byrne: “Well you used..”

“Go on, it’s a silly point, go on, you’ve made a silly point but go on.”

Byrne: “No you did, you…”

Browne: “Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on..”

Byrne: “I will go on if you stop saying, ‘go on’.”

“Go on.”

Byrne: “You made the very lazy, intellectual argument that a lot of people do when it comes to tribunals, that’s exactly what you did.”

Browne: “And what was that lazy intellectual argument?”

Byrne: “You said, you used the words, that they were, that they cost a lot and and, you know, what worth of the tribunal process.”

Browne: “I did not say anything about the tribunal process, I said nothing..I made a reference to the cost of the Flood Tribunal which wasn’t a lazy intellectual comment nor did I make any comment regarding what was the worth of the tribunals.”

Byrne: “Can I…”

“Go on, just go on and stop your point scoring. Go on.”

Byrne: “Thanks.”

“If you don’t want to go on, we’ll go to Stephen. But go on, yeah.”

“The cost of the tribunals to date, at the very maximum level is about half a billion. And that costs, we haven’t, we have yet to see the final costs of the tribunals, we also have to remember that the cost basis for legal fees now are a very different cost basis than what they were. So when the final costs of what the tribunals have incurred come in, I think they’ll be significantly less under the €500million estimate. So if you’re going to do a cost-benefit analysis of the tribunals, it should also be important to look at what the tribunals have brought into the…”

“I’m talking about the Flood Tribunal..”

“I know you are..”

“..with being forced to withdraw findings of corruption in many individuals.”

“Let me finish, let me finish my argument, if I may go on.”

“Well, yeah, get to the point, go on.”

“The tribunals to date have cost half a billion, however the tribunals have brought into the Exchequer, as a result of yields to the tax and revenue, about €1billion, that’s a direct consequence of the tribunals to the Exchequer and indirect costs of the tribunal..”

“Maybe get to the point that we’re making about the Flood Tribunal, that the Flood Tribunal has been found, being forced to withdraw findings of corruption against a number of people already, including George Redmond…”

Byrne: “I’m making two points. You won’t let me finish.”

Talk over each other

“It seems likely it’ll be forced to withdraw findings against Ray Burke.”

“I’m making two points in relation to the tribunals, one is that the costs of the tribunals should also be looked…”


“..at, in terms of the benefit to the Exchequer…”


“..which is what the tribunals have brought in..”

“We’re talking about the Flood Tribunal and in the context of withdrawing findings.”

“…and indirectly the tribunals have brought to the Exchequer, as a consequence of Revenue investigations that wouldn’t have occurred, if it wasn’t for the tribunals, €2billion. The second point..”

“Ok, right. We know that, we know that.”


“Now just go on and deal with the point we’re talking about.”

Byrne: “The second argument..”

“…which is arising from the Flood Tribunal being forced to with draw findings of corruption..”

“The second argument about the tribunal’s, I would like to make, Vincent, is that what happened in relation to the Flood Tribunal is not necessarily something that is relevant to what happened in the Moriarty Tribunal.”

Browne: “Nobody said it was.”

Byrne: “Well I know you haven’t but I think it is important to say that, when things are being said about tribunals that procedures…”

“Why don’t you just deal with the point that we’re trying to address.”

“Well do you want to go to someone else because you’re not listening to me.”

“Yes ok, we’ll move on.”

“It’s a waste of time.”


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53 thoughts on “Go On Go On Go On

      1. Loughlin

        What about this unforgivable sin:

        “Browne: ‘I didn’t say it was and nor did I infer it was.'”

        He meant to say “…nor did I imply it was”. He implied, she inferred. Jaysis.

  1. The Lady Vanishes

    This is mental.

    Elaine is half-witted (how could she have taken that comment to refer to all tribunals?) and Vincent SENILE. An interviewer should be able to keep his interviewees on track. Instead, it’s an oul fella by the fire sparring with the sprightly village spinster.

    The sad thing is that this is a time when we have a smarter more politically aware public than ever before.

      1. The Lady Vanishes

        You have a problem with spinsters?

        [the spinster reference was to Pegeen Mike in the Playboy of the Western World btw]

        1. Anne

          Ah there’s no need to be calling her a spinster now..
          Stupid fupping gbag is more appropriate. :)

          1. Saturday Night Newsround

            Give Elaine a break ladies, she’s far less experienced than Vincent who should know better, and unlike him, she’s capable of learning. Also, not in the pocket of the establishment etc. etc.

            Don’t diss people on your own side.

      1. Saturday Night Newsround

        Nothing wrong with being a spinster, but I’ll change your status to Mrs Saturday Night Newsround any day Elaine, if you;re interested…

  2. Suspendered Animation

    Elaine Byrne is hypersensitive in relation to tribunals since they provide the justification for her research.

    Without tribunals, the entire Elaine Byrne edifice would come tumbling down like a breathless schoolgirl’s hair in a hockey match.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Tis all flirty foreplay romancing talk around this place lately

      Sap stories from some Langer that eventually got married for himself
      Yer man there dreaming about tussly haired hockey girls
      Mrs and Mrs Fried
      Yer man in Dalkey
      The noise pollution potential of the Sodomy carry-on

      Am I in an episode of Fringe?
      Ohh hello Mr Jackson

      1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

        I miss that show. When I want to go to my happy place, I think of Peter and Walter hugging.
        Emotional wee spills from my eyes.

        1. Frilly Keane

          Did you know ‘Peter’ Joshua Jackson ’s mammy is from Ballyier?

          And his Irish accent is pure Dub

          1. andyourpointiswhatexactly

            I did! I saw him with her on the Late Late Show or something years ago. He was proud as punch of his Mum: I think he was saying that she never could have made anything of herself if she’d stayed in Dublin as a working class girl but when they moved to Canada she did really well.
            I think Walter should have won every actor’s gong going. He was amazing.

    2. Just sayin'

      I’m not a fan of Elaine Byrne but Vincent Browne is incredibly ignorant to his guests. She’s not even a political but he keeps interrupting her every sentence. Maybe its time TV3 gave that slot to someone less offensive who will actually let his/her guest say something?

  3. Paolo

    Vincent Brown is close to the top of the list of hypocrites in this country. How much have his debts cost the taxpayer?

    1. Blonto

      Tell us….how much???
      Didn’t he sell his gaff and isn’t he still working to pay off debts? I could be wrong, but you sound like you know something. So….tell us!!!

      1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

        Actually he’s not paying taxes on his income from TV3 – routes it through his Village Magazine company. If the company was wound up like any other (he’s no longer the major shareholder…) he’d have to pay the personal guarantees out of post tax income.

  4. Suspendered Animation

    Oopsie. Meant to add.

    Vincent and Elaine are both examples of the fact that self-obsession + vehement unreasoning opposition to anyone else who disagrees with one = Irish media darlings make. Lucinda anyone?

    1. Salmon of Nollaig

      Byrne is the logical product of Vincent’s combative, show-off, ultimately hollow political analysis which has been going on for years.

      It’s like when Dr Frankenstein meets his monster.

      1. Bacchus

        there’s no logic to her response at all.. except that she had something to say regardless of Vinny’s question.

  5. Anne

    Saw this.
    Funny stuff.
    “I will if you stop saying go on”
    “Go on” he says.

    In fairness to Vincent, he’s a bit of a petulant fupper, granted a funny one, but she refuses to address his point.

    “Maybe get to the point that we’re making about the Flood Tribunal, that the Flood Tribunal has been found, being forced to withdraw findings of corruption against a number of people already, including George Redmond…”

    Byrne: “I’m making two points

    It’s his show. She’s on to answer questions he puts to her. Not to make points.

  6. Salmon of Nollaig

    Vincent exists to prove the truth of the adage that the higher the Establishment’s pet monkey climbs the more of its ass you see.

  7. Clampers Outside!

    It shouldn’t cost a 1/2 Billion to bring in 2 Billion in exchequer revenue. It’s still waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much!!

    Now, does anyone have an answer to Vinnie’s question !

  8. bisted

    …have to say this wee spat woke me up… I was dropping of to sleep.
    I’m sure Elaine has political ambitions but I don’t know where. Thought she was a certainty to join up with Lucinda but I’ve even heard her connected with the Shinners.

  9. ProvingGround

    It’s called marketing lads!

    The Vinyard B show is being rescheduled to go head-to-head with the UTV Eire news-alike show from next week.

  10. dylad

    Could anyone technical explain to me why camera quality looks cheap on TV3, are they using older cameras or what is going on there?

    1. scottser

      they put cling film over the lenses so they won’t wear out. it’s like sucking a sweet with the wrapper on – lasts for ages.

  11. Frilly Keane

    The only VB I’ve ever watched, and I’m not messing, was his Pressie Debate.

    I can’t watch him
    I can’t listen t’him

    Sur even the BS transcripts applied to him are gibberish

    And how the ück Elaine Byrne is considered to be of any substance is beyond me.
    There is no weight to any content

    ‘ might as well give the slot over to yer man Mooney and Sammy Sausages etc

  12. rory

    The comments about Elaine here are horrible. Imagine if she read them.
    I can’t see anything in the above post that deserves such comments.

    1. Salmon of Nollaig

      I would hope she would read them. I think it’s horrible that an academic and political pundit persistently misunderstands a simple English statement. She needs to listen more carefully. If you choose to venture into the area of political commentary you must be able to listen to and learn from constructive criticism. Elaine needs to grow up and start behaving like an adult if she is to be taken seriously. Being the enfant terrible of Irish political discourse starts to grate a bit when you’re no longer an enfant, so to speak.

      1. rory

        1. Have you been in a live tv studio environment before? I am guessing from the unforgiving nature of your outlook that you havn’t. People of high standing and ability have made mistakes in such an environment. I would wager worse than not ‘computing’ something correctly, or not responding to something the way you would like.

        2. The comments here are not constructive criticism.

        3. From what I’ve read in the post, I don’t gather how her response was not an adult response to the situation.

        4. Perhaps you should imagine the comments being directed at yourself and then imagine how that would make you feel. I’d like to think ‘adult behaviour’ would involve taking that into account when writing comments on a public forum.

        Hopefully you could fill me in, because I genuinely do not know: What made/makes her the enfant terrible of Irish political discourse?

        1. Salmon of Nollaig

          Yes I have been in a live television environment. And it’s very difficult, I agree.

          Although pre-recorded can be worse, because of the cutting, unless you have editorial control.

          On reading the transcript, it appears to me that she misconstrued the question. Would you agree with this or am I missing something? The point I was making was that when it was pointed out to her (albeit rudely, and in a hectoring manner) that she misconstrued the question, she disagreed with this, although to my mind it was patent that she misconstrued it. That’s what I mean by ‘can do better’.

          Vincent Browne is a bully, and he likes his up and coming journalists to be compliant and respectful of the wonder that is Browne, and when they’re not, he turns into a very nasty individual indeed.

          Certainly Elaine came across as more likeable than Vincent, and in that respect I think he scored an own goal.

          However, it doesn’t change the fact that she misconstrued the point Browne was making, and that she would have performed better if she hadn’t misconstrued it, or if she’d stopped and not let herself be drawn into the trap that Browne was laying for her by getting her to react.

          We badly need reasoned and thoughtful political discourse in this country, in which people avoid the personal and focus on the issues. There is no way that Vincent Browne is ever going to provide this. Elaine Byrne may. The reference to ‘constructive criticism’ was intended as a recognition of this, and a compliment.

          Hope this helps. If in fact you think Elaine didn’t misconstrue Browne’s point, let me know.

          1. Salmon of Nollaig

            Sorry, forgot to reply to your last two points.

            Re. imagining the comments being directed at myself, well, we all make mistakes and I am certainly no exception, I am sure there are many people who are irritated by my comments above. However it is my philosophy that the best and most interesting way to live life is to put one’s views forward as honestly as possible, trying to be reasonably polite and considerate, and to listen to any feedback received and take it into account if it is reasonable, without obsessing about bad feedback or making an eejit of oneself. I see everything – including commenting on here – as a learning process. So yes I would probably be miffed, but it would not be the end of my world, I would assess the negative comments, try to identify which were sincere and if sincere whether or not they were justified and not beat myself up too much if they were.

            Elaine Byrne has many good qualities. She has courage, new ideas, initiative and energy. She prompts people to take sides, and a personality dispute like that with Browne may well win her sympathy – and allies. But in my humble opinion what we need in political discourse is less personality – and more reasoned, objective analysis. We need the debate to be less about Elaine, the young slightly inexperienced not afraid to question the system (which is where ‘enfent terrible’ reference came from), and Vincent, the hoary old fraud and more about the issues involved. Vincent Browne has made a career out of promoting point scoring and argument for the sake of argument. Getting into a slanging match with him will just mean you become a player in his sad old stereotyped world. I am not putting it very well but I hope this helps explain a little.

  13. Brian

    I’m baffled at the venom against Elaine Byrne here, she shouldn’t have bothered letting VinB play her but overall she knows her stuff, made a good point on the cost versus monies recovered from the tribunals. She’s proven her academic worth, tis more than most of the guests on that show.

    1. Salmon of Nollaig

      That’s not saying very much. Vincent, among all his other deficiencies, has some real loo-lahs on there. Take for instance the omnipresent Mary Louise O’Donnell. Elaine is coasting a bit (has been coasting her entire life in the public arena?) and needs to examine her work and her commentary and discourse critically. It is simply not good enough to waste time persistently misunderstanding a question. Put in academic terms, there’s no marks for misunderstanding the question asked. Particularly if you persistently continue to misunderstand it when pointed out that your understanding is wrong. I have read Elaine’s publications (have you?) and they are not enough to allow her to rest on her laurels. She needs to be more self-critical and should be able to read the transcript and learn from it. The idea that people who appear on the telly are eentitled to unconditional praise in case their feelings might be hurt, or that they should be immune from criticism just because other pundits are worse, is a really stupid one. BTW Vincent can’t rest on his laurels either. he was looking for drama, and an opportunity to show off. if he was really interested in serious discourse, as opposed to an argy-bargy in which he got to show off his as yet unexercised skills as a Senior Counsel, he could have dealt with the situation far more efficiently. We get what we look for and if we put up with shoddy political analysis we’ll have a shoddy political system. Simple as.

      1. Saturday Night Newsround

        has been coasting her entire life in the public arena

        very unfair. No way would anyone say that about a man. Why do you expect more, and think less of women?

        1. Salmon of Nollaig

          Perhaps I expect more of them because I think more of them?

          But I’m just a bloke, what do I know ;-)

          Re coasting, sorry if some of my comments were a bit harsh. As stated above, I was a bit cross with Ms Byrne for allowing herself to be dragged down to Vincent’s level. I get sick of all the haranguing. It’s very difficult not to coast in the world of Irish political analysis, because the standard is so bloody low. It would be nice to see someone not just fighting back in a slanging match, but putting the slinger in their place by reasoned debate. That’s the only thing worth taking seriously in what I said, the rest is just me being cranky. :-)

        2. Pablo

          @SNN: That’s an utterly daft, paranoid thing to say. Far worse things are said about men and women in public life evey day.

  14. Niallo

    Ugghh, people, this is in a nutshell, the irish problem.
    1) corruption
    2) detection (if were lucky)
    3) much harrumphing in the media and LH
    4) a tribunal !
    5) man, many years later, if the parties concerned are still alive, the tribunal makes its finding.
    6) sweet fa happens, no really, proportionately nothing happens.
    7) further harumphing from the meeja and blowhards of the day, much talking over each other in interviews.
    8) corrupt parties and judiciary ride off into the well pensioned sunset.
    9) the end

    Am i wrong ?

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