All Coming Out In The Wash




Top from left: Kieran Mulvey, Pat Hickey, Annalise Murphy, Shane Ross and John Treacy celebrate Ms Murphy’s silver in the sailing on the eve of Pat Hickey’s arrest in Rio; Dan Boyle

Pat Hickey and Shane Ross are helping make a soap opera out of a crisis.

Dan Boyle writes:

It’s difficult to get hooked into any soap opera when all its characters are unsympathetic. In Rio there is at least the advantage of an exotic locale.

The telenovela currently being produced is not likely though to endear itself to key sectors of the audience, its narrative being overtly soaked in testosterone.

The cast is full of JRs but there is no Bobby Ewing.

On the one hand we have the egomaniacal and international prestige junkie, who is not a politician but is more political in his approach to his work than anyone can be.

On the other hand we have the actual politician, who has traded on being an anti-political and who is finding it difficult to transition from poacher to gamekeeper.

He too seems obsessed with a need for constant ego gratification. The soap aficionado, whose predeliction is misery would be better to stick with ‘Eastenders’.

And yet my sympathy gravitates towards the hapless politician. His dislikeable characteristics aside, he does hold a public office which brings with it the need to protect the public interest along with the public purse strings.

It’s unfortunate that the barrister proferring the advice that the Minister “should be put back in his box” is female. It spoils the mental image of an exaggerated moustache being stroked. It also confuses disdain for an individual with disdain for the State.

The Minister hasn’t helped, of course, by resorting to the default reactionary mode so beloved by him and Irish politics in general.

It isn’t outrageous to apply a principle that any body in receipt of public funds should only be given such funds when proper levels of governance are seen to be in place.

Among such standards should be term limits for office holders, and the accepting the need for independent scruitiny as and when such situations arise.

Perp walk arrests and presenting evidence in public prior to a courtroom appearance certainly add to the sense of drama. It may strike us as strange. It does though have elements of honesty to it, in making justice seen to be done.

In Ireland our archaic libel laws prevent effective displays of public disgust being made. We are limited in those on whom we can heap social oppobrium.

Politicians, obviously, are fair game. Civil servants as a generic group also seem open to disdain. Business people, as individuals, seem uniquely to possess a right to protect their good names.

When these great and good donate or are seen to participate in a public good, the ability to question their character or motivation recedes further.

If the Minister who oscillates between Transport and Sport, can succeed in changing this culture then he should be rewarded.

Perhaps RTÉ could do so by resurrecting its long running, now long forgotten radio serial, with a new cast of characters. Let’s have ‘The Hickeys of Castle Ross’.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle


35 thoughts on “All Coming Out In The Wash

  1. some old queen

    I think Ross is coming out of this looking pretty good so far. I am not sure what else people expected him to do in a situation like this?

  2. Clampers Outside!

    What the fupp is this, I, no… “we” need to get the full gamut of the human emotional spectrum out of this piece, and I’m not… this is an outrage!

    * takes breath *
    Thanks Dan, for not getting emotional about this or upset, or god forbid that you might have some sort of Stockholm Syndrome from the OCI scandal like “we” do…. phew!… it’s a relief you escaped the collective emotional turmoil the rest of us have been going through after receiving diagnosis yesterday…. *sniff*
    You must be strong Dan, stronger than all of us… you must show us the light, so that “we” can…. oh look a cat ! I’m going to call him Mr Slocombe’s Pussy Mittens and I’ll cuddle and molly coddle him for ever and ever… aaaaawwwww… what was I on about….

  3. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    Back in the box comment was from a barrister, not a solicitor.
    Solicitors are lovely, barristers are gonks.

    1. Rowsdower

      Is this Barrister being investigated for this ticket scam? I cant imagine that Hickey didn’t keep them in the loop of whats going on.

  4. louislefronde

    Cue…. Elements of the Irish political class don’t like the idea of the ‘Perp Walk’, but Dan is right, justice must be seen to be done. Perp walking scares the life out of a certain class of people in Ireland, as Voltaire famously said about Admiral Byng…..’Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les actress’

    To put it plainly sometimes its good to perp walk a well known businessman or two to ‘encourage the rest’.

    Speaking of which why wasn’t anyone in either AIB or BOI charged with trading whilst insolvent back in 2008…?

    1. Harry Molloy

      I’m not political class or close to it, but I don’t like the idea of a perp walk at all due to my belief in the presumption of innocence. I think it could have the potential to prejudice the jury and damage an entire trial.

      1. Ronan

        I think there should be perp walks, live on tv with evil music.

        “Here comes the minister, escorted by members of an Garda Siochána, and a suitcase full of items, which we can only suspect to be evidence against him”

        ‘Yep, guilty as fook’

        1. Harry Molloy

          “Little did this guy know ,he’d be spending the night in a state penitentiary!” – stated by an orange guy with white teeth talking at the camera

      2. Louis Lefronde

        Juries decide on whether you are guilty or not at the conclusion of a trial. You do not lose the presumption of innocence until that point.

        If perp walked in front of a posse of photographers, the presumption of innocence has not been lost only the visual fact of of a person’s arrest has been made public. Juries do not make their decisions on the basis of pre-trial publicity, they make their decisions on the evidence before them during the course of trial usually at a much later date.

        Let them be perped!

  5. Spaghetti Hoop

    “In Ireland our archaic libel laws prevent effective displays of public disgust being made”.

    Here we go again. Who are disgusted? Much like we wondered yesterday who were actually ‘shocked’ and ’embarrassed’ as stated in the Social Democrat article. Anyone I know are both amused and delighted about the Hickey arrest and the Ross intervention.

    1. Harry Molloy

      It’s taking from the Daily Mail headline generator

      “Outrage as blah blah blah”

      “Fury as blah blah blah”

      “Disgust and constipation at blah blah blah”

    2. Nigel

      I dunno it seems to me if you’re only delighted at the arrest then mayve you haven’t thought through the implcations of what it takes to bring someone like him to justice: the powerlesness of public representatives, the toothlessness of official inquiries, the impotence if the Guards and the silencing of the press, all of which are pretty disgusting, shocking and embarrasing. His arrest is pure chace and luck from our point of view.

        1. Nigel

          Not much consolation there when a culture of corruption and untouchability in these institutions has apparently thrived for decades at least.

  6. Truth in the News

    Surely at this stage we all should know how many tickets Ireland were alotted for
    events going back over the last Olympics, how many were recipted for and issued
    to sport participants and their families, and those not disposed in that way, who
    ended up with them, in other words were the blocks or batches of tickets disposed
    of , as to Ross every trick in the book will be used to wrong foot him, what ever about the folks in “Castle Ross” a better series would be more apt ie “The Stickies of Montrose” anyone with idea’s of a script. Mary McAlesse could have a few story lines to contribute….let Carnival in Rio continue.

    1. some old queen

      Mary McAleese could have a few story lines to contribute

      More than a few lines I would think.

  7. Robert

    Ross is doing a grand job for somebody thrown into a position not his forte. Better than most for whom it would be. Nearest I can think of his Alan ‘the boxer’ Kelly (I shudder to think) or Dick ‘the rugger bugger’ spring. This whole thing is actually a godsend for him in the context of his whole anti-corruption narrative. I’d love to see what a “green agenda” in a sports ministry looks like.

  8. Paddy

    Was it co-incidence that Kieran Mulvey was out there? Maybe refereeing Hickey and Ross? Oh I forgot… Paschal Donoghue appointed him as as chairperson of the ‘newly-established’ Sports Council in 2015.

  9. Fionn

    Great piece .

    on this bit about the putting Rosser back in his box, teh most famous words to come out of this whole …

    ” It also confuses disdain for an individual with disdain for the State.”

    In my opinion, that barrister shows disdain for both the minister as person and the State he represents .
    but , then again, she also speaks language that her client wanted to hear.

  10. ollie

    Dan, you have excelled in this article. You have become Oscar Wilde and Boris Johnson’s love child.
    Can I have some of what your’e on?

  11. Mé Féin

    The Greenies would have never let this happen. They weren’t called Glasraí for no reason.

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