Gemma O’Doherty addressing Dublin City Council chamber yesterday
Yesterday, Gemma O’Doherty was among a number of Presidential hopefuls including Peter Casey, John Goarke and Sarah Louise Mulligan to make their case to Dublin City Council.
Councillors chose to discard all nomination following disruptions during an address by comedy candidate Norma Burke aka Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff.
Ms O’Doherty told councillors:
As a proud Ranelagh woman who grew up just up the road from here it’s a honor to be here today but I would like to pay tribute to the brave young men and women who are currently occupying properties in the city and trying to draw attention to the appalling housing crisis that our city and country now face.
I would like to put on the record of this chamber that I am profoundly disturbed at the sight of men in balaclavas coming down to our city, guarded by our police force, and removing these young people, who are desperate, who cannot afford even to dream of buying a house in this city, never mind renting one, and my reason for seeking this nomination is in furtherance of my desire to serve the cause of truth, justice and integrity for the Irish people.
I believe that our relatively young nation is suffering from a culture of corruption and clientism which is deeply damaging to democracy and to the relationship between politicians and citizens.
I believe that the presidency can set the standard for the sort of democracy that we all want to live in, one that respects citizens’ right to truth and justice, the right to affordable housing, the right to a first world health care service, the right to a publicly owned safe and reliable water supply and the right to a free press.
Most of my work in investigative journalism has focused on exposing wrongdoing within the criminal justice system. A number of my investigations have let to the reopening of murder files including that of Niall Molloy and Mary Boyle, our longest and youngest missing person.
During my work at the Irish Independent, where I spent almost 20 years, I worked with Maurice McCabe and was one of the first journalists to expose the very serious allegations that he was trying to highlight, and as part of my work I was responsible for exposing I suppose an elite that had been operating in this country and continue to operate people who are going onto the roads of our country and doing whatever speeds they liked.
Some of these people were judges, some of them were state solicitors, journalists, crime reporters and newspaper editors.
As part of that particular work I exposed the fact that the Garda Commissioner, the former Garda Commissioner, was also abusing the penalty points system and that resulted in the end of my career at INM. I was forced to take a case to the High Court, where I was successful.
Since then, I have been highlighting injustice and organizing a number of trips to foreign parliaments with victims of state corruption and these have included Stormont, Brussels, Westminster and Washington DC, where I have visited with citizens who have been denied justice and spoke to foreign MPs and MEPs and tried to highlight cases that Irish governments have turned their back on.
As I said earlier I am very concerned about the housing and health crisis and I believe that boundaries of the presidency can be pushed out in order to stand up and defend those who have lost their voices in this country. I believe that there are many of them now.
Many more people become voiceless every day in our city and our country and they are the people I would like to defend.
Thank you very much for listening to me today.
Watch here (from 23.33)
Earlier: And For That Reason
Previously:: Mid Morning Presidential Matters