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Independent TD for Kildare North Catherine Murphy (top) and James Morrisey, a spokesman for Denis O’Brien.


John Mooney, in yesterday’s Sunday Times, reported how Independent TD Catherine Murphy has received correspondence from Siteserv and Team Denis.

Both urged the Independent TD to leave their business out of her politics.

Mr Mooney reported:

“[Siteserv CEO and chairman Sean Corkery] accused [TD Catherine] Murphy of making “false and misleading comments” that are causing “incalculable damage” to Siteserv’s reputation, business interests, employees and shareholders. He asked her to “cease and desist”.

[Murphy] has also received a letter from James Morrissey, a spokesman for O’Brien, accusing her of using “Dail privilege to voice false and baseless remarks”.

In a special Dail debate on Siteserv last Wednesday night [transcrip at link below], Murphy claimed O’Brien received especially favourable loan terms from IBRC which she described as being “effectively subsidised”. “I would ask you to behave in an honourable fashion and publicly withdraw your comments,” Morrissey said.

In the same article, Mr Mooney reports that Sierra founder Desmond Whyte attempted to buy back Sierra at the time of the sale of Siteserv in March 2012 – as he believed Sierra was in fact propping up its parent company.

“‘We tried to ring Anglo [IBRC] to say we’d buy Sierra back. We would have bought it for €45m. I believed it was worth €70m,’ said Whyte. ‘They wouldn’t return my calls or have anything to do with me. We appointed a consultant to deal with it but he got nowhere. Siteserv should have been broken apart and each of its companies sold off.

Sierra was able to prop up the other companies. Sierra was making lots of money, enough to keep all the rest of the companies going. Sierra was worth €70m alone as far as I was concerned. The profits had slipped a little, but it was a good investment. When I saw it being sold off as if it were a job lot, it was like being stabbed in the heart.'”

Good times.

Fresh Siteserv row for IBRC (John Mooney, Sunday Times, behind paywall)

Previously: Timeline To A Killing

Bringing The House Down

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34 thoughts on “Unceasing

  1. Supercrazyprices

    Yeah I remember when Sierra came out of nowhere and suddenly seemed to be at every roadworks in Dublin city.

    But like Greyhound. All of a sudden, all over the place.

  2. life boy

    It’s almost like there was a conspiracy to gift the company to one man and one man alone, because … money. At the expense of the Irish people. The dogs in the street know what went on at this stage, so where’s the accountability? Are we living in a third-world dictatorship?

    1. Joe the Lion

      Head and shoulders above the rest at the moment electorally speaking, but oh, what a shower

  3. ex pat

    The decision to exclude trade bidders seems odd, but the idea of selling the entire to try to preserve as many jobs as possible makes sense

    It is however embarrassing seeing Catherine Murphy walking around taking pot shots in the dark. Her lack of knowledge of how business is structured and what is and is not important makes one really scared what would happen if she ever got into power. Her classic punchline that Island had broken confidentiality by putting its target into a Special Purpose Vehicle moniker Millington is just symptomatic of the lack of understanding.

      1. ex pat

        Legitimate concerns, is it too much to expect an opposition that can actually provide some credible questions?

        1. life boy

          Let me put it this way, it looks as though you are being purposely being blind and diversionary, classic spin tactics but they aren’t going to work. Or, you are very gullible and clinically off-topic, in which case you have my sympathy.

          That there was corruption and wrong-doing at every turn of this deal is not just a possibility, it is not even a probability at this stage. It is a CERTAINTY. And like I say, the dogs on the street already know that.

          1. ex pat

            First you throw insults and now you accuse me of spinning.

            I have a problem with Catherine Murphy because she is the blind leading the blind. It is that simple, the absence of a credible opposition is a big negative; no democracy can function without credible opposition.

          2. Clampers Outside!

            Ex-Pat… that’d be fine if it business were conducted in a straight up “structured” manner as you seem to assume.

            It wasn’t…. directors paid €5m; Noonan raised concerns before the sale; Sale goes ahead and approved one week before new rules for tighter scrutiny which the sale would have been under and Noonan and co. new this;

            ….It’s only above board if the board is moving to accommodate it.

          3. ex pat

            I fully support the enquiries ongoing into this sale; it is important that every aspect of this transaction is examined, any transaction where an underbidder comes forward and makes claims should be examined.

            The issue of the directors getting paid should also be examined; but examined in the context of a review that focusses on three potential outcomes

            1. What was it worth as a group in 2011 not 2007 – Anglo made the loans those lost the money.
            2. What was it worth on a division by division basis and how many divisions would have failed and what would that have cost in redundancy costs.
            3. What would it have been worth if placed into examinership, i.e. how many major accounts could have triggered insolvency clauses and renegotiated contracts.

            The above is a logical series of questions that need answers; the focus of people like Catherine Murphy has been throw enough muck at the wall and something will stick. The constant repetition that loan sales showed a loss to the bank is garbage, the lending to construction firms in 2007 caused losses. The only relevant question is what manner of sale would have maximised the return to the bank without the risk of a price agreed being reduced and reduced as each skeleton came out of its insolvent closet.

    1. Supercrazyprices

      Slimeballs who run so many Irish companies think they’re warriors of the business world. They not. They’re mere pirates and criminals.

  4. PaddyJoe

    It looks like a concerted salvo from Morrissey and Corkery. Notable however that the letters are from these two O’Brien employees and not from his legal team. They don’t seem to be in any hurry to clarify which particular statements are false and misleading either.

  5. StephenD

    Howye ExPat, how’s life inside FG at the moment?

    Funny how those ‘potshots’ happen to be exactly the ones that Noonan himself wanted to know about in 2012. Clearly the point she was making was that it seems it was all done so that big bad Denis didn’t come onto the scene in a public way until it was almost a done deal, very like the eventual awarding of the meter contract. Don’t try and convince yourself or us that you think this is a clean deal

  6. donkey_kong

    I tip my hat to catherine murphy TD.
    TD like her drag us out fo teh cesspool of mediocrity we were served with in recent times.

    You know you are on the right path when fools like those mouth pieces are attacking you.

  7. Kolmo

    Watch the Shill-bots, trundling over the hill en masse to defend their future employers…

  8. b

    jolly nice of that fellow to offer to buy the good part of Siteserve and leave the loss making rest of it to the Irish state.

    1. Andrew

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting that O’Brien was concerned with protecting jobs. The government (who were the ones deciding who it would be routed through) were absolutely concerned with saving jobs though.

      The question is whether the money they may have lost by doing this deal could have been spent on some other job preservation scheme. I tend to believe that it would probably not have been. It would have gone into the generic government funds which were mostly used to pay back debtors/Europe. Saving a bunch of jobs in the overall Siteserv organization presumably looked like the best option unless you believe there was some form of conspiracy to enrich O’Brien.

      It may well have been cronyism – Irish business and government is prone to this. I tend to doubt it was outright fraud. The problem is the deal was rushed and normal checks and balances were almost certainly skipped in the rush to get the deal done. This does need to be investigated.

  9. Anne

    I reckon they’ll only make things worse for themselves with their threats to her.
    Good woman Catherine Murphy!


    fg have been caught in their own sting remember when kenny got to ring the bell at the NY stock exchange Who was on his shoulder! DOB.

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