Mr Smyth In The House


This afternoon.

Peter Smyth (top) is appearing before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment – streaming LIVE above.

Mr Smyth examined the interactions between the former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten and businessman David McCourt, founder and chairman of Granahan McCourt – the last remaining consortium bidding for the National Broadband Plan – as a means to decipher if the engagements undermined the NBP procurement process.

Mr Smyth found that the fact Mr Naughten met with Mr McCourt, or representatives of the other bidders “outside of the process is not in and of itself a basis for finding that the procurement process has been tainted”.

Mr Smyth has already told the committee that he never met Mr Naughten or Mr McCourt face to face during his investigation.

He told deputies that he did not regard their encounters as evidence of ‘canvassing’, but was unable to define what he meant by ‘canvassing’.

In his investigation, Mr Smyth found, as he had to take Mr Naughten and Mr McCourt’s word for what was discussed at two one-to-one meetings and one telephone call:

“I cannot unequivocally state that the State-led intervention under the NBP was not discussed at the meetings between the former minister and Mr McCourt outside of the procurement process.”

Mr Smyth also found Mr Naughten’s decision to resign largely allowed for the process to go ahead as his stepping down “insulates the process from any apparent bias created by his engagements with Mr McCourt”.

Oireachtas webcasting is provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas Service, in association with HEAnet, Ireland’s National Educational and Research Network

Previously: Faulty Leakage

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24 thoughts on “Mr Smyth In The House

  1. Eoin

    The man who has given the green light to a Boston investment group getting a €3 billion state contract, the man you’ve never heard about before the middle of October 2018 (unless you are familiar with the procurement consultancy business), the man who operates his one-man-and-his-missus Peter Smyth Management Consultancy Limited, who gets €250,000 a year from the State.

    Can’t wait to see what this god looks like.

  2. Johnny

    -this is a gross misrepresentation and if they were public, they would be reported for issuing a misleading statement to the markets, bondholders hate this nonsense-is it fraudulent to mislead the markets like this in my opinion YES…..

    “David joins Digicel from Spire Healthcare Group plc where he was Group CFO. Prior to that, he spent nine years as CFO for Elsevier (part of the RELX Plc Group) based in the Netherlands as well as a number of years with BT in the UK in a variety of senior financial, operational and commercial positions.”

    David was NOT the group CFO he was the INTERM for a wet day-thats misrepresentation and would be reported in NY to the SEC as misleading.

    “Mr. David Lomas served as Interim Chief Financial Officer of Spire Healthcare Group Plc since March 2018 until October 1, 2018. Mr. Lomas served as the Chief Financial Officer of Achilles Group Limited since August 31, 2015. Mr. Lomas served as the Chief Financial Officer of Elsevier B.V. He joined Elsevier B.V in 2005 from the global telecommunications and information giant BT, where he held a variety of key financial and operational roles, including Chief Financial Officer of the BT Enterprise division, Head of BT Mergers & Acquisitions, Chief Financial and Commercial Officer of BT Ireland and Chief Executive Officer of BT Multi-Media.”

    Not doubt the Irish media will be all over this:)

    He last worked in the telco space when Do They Know Its Christmas by Band Aid was number 1,thankfully the tech and telco space hasn’t changed much since then-I’m reassured are the bondholders !

    1. Martco

      great info but across the board but why isn’t Dennis O’Brien being identified as the clear beneficiary in all of this? I never see his name in the frame and it’s as clear as day this is all just a layering exercise to get him access to yet another couple of bil revenue stream. The man can’t be “that” popular, why is everyone doing this circus for his benefit, what’s the real story here?

      1. Johnny

        Hi Martco,just have a bit fun here but some have suggested the bro (Richard)shall we say may not have been the best choice as communications minister:)
        I haven’t really followed it as in my opinion the whole thing is a pork barrel project,the tech is way ahead of the plans and by the time its finally approved, it will be outdated.

        “During St Patrick’s week, Irish telecoms billionaire Denis O’Brien and ex Irish Prime Minister John Bruton joined forces at the New York Stock Exchange to boost American investors’ confidence in Ireland.”

        Wasn’t the convinced criminal,Deputy Lowry,in exactly the same position that Richard is now, under John Bruton when….

        “In 1995, Lowry’s department was holding a competition to award a mobile telephone license in Ireland. O’Brien’s Esat Digifone company was in the running for the license. In his report, Justice Moriarty says that it is ‘beyond doubt‚ that Lowry gave ‘substantive information to Denis O’Brien, of significant value and assistance to him in securing the license’ and that Lowry had ‘irregular interactions with interested parties at its most sensitive stages.’

        He goes on to state that ‘in aggregating the known payments from Mr Denis O’Brien to Mr Michael Lowry, it is apposite to note that, between the granting of the [license] to Esat Digiphone [O’Brien’s company] in May 1996, and the transmission of £420,000 sterling to complete the purchase of the latter of Mr Lowry’s English properties in December 1999, Mr O’Brien had made or facilitated payments to Mr Lowry of £147,000 sterling, £300,000 sterling and a benefit equivalent to a payment in the form of Mr O’Brien’s support for a loan of £420,000 sterling.'”

        plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

          1. bisted

            ‘…the tech is way ahead of the plans’…this is true…how much to put up a low orbit, geo-stationary satelite and provide free service to anyone who wants it…bet it’s less than 3billion…but then…redacted can’t do that…

          2. bisted

            …@Cian…sorry…can’t work out if you are being pedantic…but I’ll hold geostationary and change low-orbit to high-orbit and we’ll throw in redundancy by having three of them…any change from 1billion to Broadsheet xmas drinks…

          3. Cian

            Do you have any idea what the latency on a (high orbit) geo-stationary is? (Hint it’s about half a second).

            You wouldn’t want to be skyping. Or gaming or video-conferenceng. Or anything like that.

            It’d be grand for downloading porn I suppose.

          4. bisted

            …@Cian…ok…so I’m no expert…but you sound like you are…my point was that the proposed solution already sounds dated…by the time they get to making a third-generation solution a sixth-generation solution will be available at a fraction of the price…Moore’s Law?

          5. rotide

            I hate to be the one to break this to you Bisted, but most of your mobile phone data is routed through undersea cables not satellites.

            Continue to babble about how redacted has ruined everything though

  3. Eoin

    “He told deputies that he did not regard their encounters as evidence of ‘canvassing’, but was unable to define what he meant by ‘canvassing’.”

    Some procurement expert!

    Based on the difficulties the public accounts committee had with tying down a cost for the National Broadband Plan and the car-crash hearing with Peter Smyth, the only political outcome is to demand a debate and propose we start from step 1 again. And Denis Naughten is not out of the woods yet.

    1. Giggidygoo

      Some investigation alright. By text and phone call. Varadkar should be hauled before this committee to explain why he put Smyth in, and then why did he accept the fairytale findings. Maybe Tubby will ask him on the LLS tonight. Then again maybe not – after all Varadkar invited himself on.

  4. johnny

    Hi bisted,the IT and Indo-c’mon guys step up your game,you are incorrectly reporting that Lomas was CFO at Spire-he was NOT-according to WSJ/Bloomberg he was INTERIM-who you gonna believe !

    “Spire Healthcare Group PLC, a U.K. private healthcare company, has appointed Jitesh Sodha as CFO, effective Oct. 1. David Lomas will continue as Spire’s interim CFO until then…..”

    Dennis in Indo-usual total load off rubbish.

    -Digicel chairman Denis O’Brien said Mr Lomas has a deep knowledge of the telecoms and technology sectors.
    “I would like to welcome David to the Digicel family. As we focus on growing Digicel for the future, David’s broad finance, commercial and operational expertise, coupled with his deep knowledge of the telecoms and technology sectors, will be instrumental in delivering our ambitions.”

    Spire is a healthcare company-I’m sure they all mobiles, but the last time the new Digicel CFO,worked for a telco was before the Iphone was even introduced…..

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