‘This Is A Hideous Development In Irish Public Life’


From top: Justice Peter Charleton ; PR boss Terry Prone, who, it emerged during the Disclosure tribunal, had been advising both Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

This afternoon.

From the Disclosures Tribunal report.

Justice Peter Charelton writes:

One other matter is worthy of comment. A close reading of the chronology will indicate the extent to which a public controversy began to grow in florid form following on the deception of the media by the persons who leaked selected extracts from the O’Higgins Commission transcript.

This led to a flurry of emails, memoranda, communications at high level, drafts, counter drafts and final drafts about the Garda Commissioner’s approach to those who point out irregularities within our police force.

The tribunal is far from impressed by any of this.

It seems that our public life is now to be dominated by spin and that plain speaking is elided in favour of meaningless public relations speak.

This is a hideous development in Irish public life.

We have been brought to a situation where those who genuinely know their job are expected to put things in a form which no longer garners respect and which is far from the requirement of plain speaking.

It is frankly bizarre that when the Garda Commissioner is asked about her approach to a matter of serious public importance, she is not left alone to answer from her own mind.

But instead that comments and suggestions amounting to drafts of letters of several thousand words are whizzed over in her direction so that she can send the same thing back again.

The public are then expected to digest this as being her utterance.

The tribunal found this practice unworthy of our public service. It adds to the sense of public distrust in the key institutions of the State.

Public service is not about public relations.

Plain speaking by those who know what they are talking about is the only acceptable way to address the Irish people.”

Earlier: Justice Charelton on…

Previously: Frances Noirin And Tess


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14 thoughts on “‘This Is A Hideous Development In Irish Public Life’

  1. Joan

    The sad thing is that I could say some things that are utterly true about Terry Prone but no one will publish the comments. We all know she’s a —-, piece of ——, with the morals of a ——–. Her son’s not much better either.

  2. Boules

    It’s a breath of fresh air to read this.
    Sad that “spin machines” are such common practice in Public Service; Grateful to Charleton for calling it out.

  3. Elm wood

    A ‘Hideous Development’ best phrase ever used to describe that individuals involvement in Irish affairs

  4. Giggidygoo

    She’s busy at the moment preparing Varadkar for some spin in the Dail after Naughten resigning.
    I wonder will the ‘confidence ‘ and supply agreement survive.

  5. Catherine costelloe

    Prone telling Fitz to wag her finger during a speech at Mc Gill school was beyond the pale. All spin & no substance.

  6. Ron

    So how many state contracts for services does Prone currently have? Still have? is she still working on behalf of Ministers and State bodies?

  7. Fergus the Magic Postman

    I cannot abide that woman. I cannot turn on the radio without her featuring as a guest deemed to have an opinion worth paying attention to on any given topical situation. Yet her whole livelihood is built on disgusting dishonesty. The harmful kind of dishonesty which displaces the necessary truth of an underdog, an underdog who’s truth is often representative of the entire nation.
    Her opinion means nothing to me. Her voice repels me. I refuse to listen to her.

  8. Dub Spot

    “Hideous development”

    Well put. Flat-handing the table for the citizenry to import one of Mr Prone’s methaphors.

    1. Dub Spot

      “Ms. Prone’s”

      Reminder there is another module coming too, so not over for Ms O’Sullivan by a long shot.

  9. McVitty

    She would have been a masterful money launderer – especially the mindless layering stage. All this stuff in the McCabe case will be condensed to a stunning documentary in a few years after the dust settles but my, there is a lot of dust – I have no idea how Broadsheet stay on top of it. Her company has set a standard in Irish public life that will be hard to change….

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