It’s A Pile On


Senator Michael McDowell said Sinn Fein TDs and Senators “don’t decide anything” and are told what to do.

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Senator Michael McDowell told Mr O’Rourke that Sinn Féin “don’t have parliamentary party meetings in Leinster House”.

He added: “The TDs and Senators don’t decide anything.”

Asked by Mr O’Rourke how he knew this, he said: “Because I was told directly by one of their parliamentarians.”

Senator McDowell said:

“And I’ll tell you exactly how, Seán. Do you remember the Senate Reform Implementation Group. I asked all the participants to give me an undertaking that we could set aside an afternoon to finalise the report. I said ‘can each of you tell me that there will be no parliamentary party meeting to distract you, or to take you away’.

“And we went around the table and when I got to the Sinn Féin participant, he said ‘we don’t have a parliamentary party’. ”

“He told me to my face…”

“They don’t have meetings of their parliamentary party as such in Leinster House.”

When it was put to Mr McDowell that the polls are indicating that the party may do very well, he replied “so what” before saying that Sinn Féin are “entitled to participate in Government if there are other parties which will participate in Government with them”.

He added:

“We live in a free democracy and if people don’t want to participate in Government with Sinn Féin, they’re perfectly entitled and there’s nothing arrogant or undemocratic to say ‘sorry, we are not going to participate in Government with you’.”

The 23-member implementation croup, consisting of 11 Senators and 12 TDs, was chaired by Senator McDowell. It was tasked with assessing the recommendations made by the Working Group on Seanad Reform in 2015.

Senators Fintan Warfield and Niall Ó Donnghaile and TD John Brady were its Sinn Féin members.


Earlier: “When You Leave This Studio, Could You Pick Up The Phone And Talk To Her?”

Yesterday: How Was It For You? [Updated]

Previously: Will I Get The Coronavirus If I Vote Sinn Féin?


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82 thoughts on “It’s A Pile On

  1. 01101101 01100011

    this is amazing to observe

    I always knew there was political tensions, tribal nonsense. and now I’m seeing it live! its so interesting. not remotely enjoyable but at the same time riveting.

    all I see and hear is a bunch of rich grey people in suits desperately trying to talk me out of voting for change

    and they think it’s gonna work

    ‘cos like “not all change is good” or “bad people did bad stuff over there”


    1. Cian

      01101101 01100011 – count your blessings.
      When I was your age the “political tensions, tribal nonsense” had resulted in daily reports of knee-cappings, bomb blasts, bomb warnings, resulting in serious injuries and a few times a week actual deaths.

    2. :-Joe

      Try to communicate and remind 10 or more younger voters to excercise their democratic right and power and ask them to do the same with another 10 each, regardless of your choices.

      Especially if they are working in precarious or zero hours contract employment as they are most likely not to show up at all unfortunately, giving the vig / advantage in favour of the F-f/gestablishment that isn’t doing it’s f’ing job by protecting workers rights in the first place.

      True, fair representation at the ballot box is the only way democracy can function properly.

      Elections are won and lost and governments are given free reign to wield the power of their ideaology from margins as little as even less than 1 % majority of votes.



    1. Ringsend Incinerator


      Anyone but Fine Gael (except Aonus, John Waters, etc).

      There is panic in Fine Gael with the Paul Quinn sh#te fear project being pushed on doorsteps and through media. Obviously the Christmas Day swimming in the Forty Foot didn’t work….

      1. GiggidyGoo

        And you know, apart from the SF stuff, we had a long tit-for-tat over pensions last week.
        What does the word ‘Ringfenced’ conjure up?

        Well, remember that a National Pension Reserve Find was created, and the money in it was ‘ringfenced’? Well, not really. It was converted into the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). And the PENSION reserve ended up propping up banks etc. In other words, the Pension Reserve was pilfered, and not ringfenced. Your money, given to banks, who then don’t have to pay any corporation of their profits. Double whammy.

        Just to remember that, whenever any TDs come around bandying about the the words ‘guarantee’ ‘Ringfence’ ‘commitment’.

        Your money, their way.

          1. Cian

            yes lies.

            The money is still available. They changed the focus from investing our money in international markets to investing our money in Irish companies. Some of it was used to support AIB/BOI.
            – Bank of Ireland got €4.7 billion and repaid all of that + interest (repaid €5bn).
            – AIB got €16 billion and some of this has been repaid (€6.1bn) And we still own 75% of AIB.

            But the money is still there. Still available for future pensions.

        1. D

          There was also the pension levy introduced by Noonan and taken away again a few years later, but no chance of a refund was there

          I’d say all the minesterial pensions were hit real bad by that one all the same, god bless them. Hard to imagine how they get by.

        2. Cian

          And speaking of pensions, explain how the “all-Ireland” Sinn Fein can simultaneously
          – call for a reduction of the Pension age to 65 down here while
          – voting to increase the Pension Age to 66 in NI?


          1. GiggidyGoo

            The usual old lemon eh Cian? The funding and decisions for Northern Ireland are decided in……Westminster. The funding and decisions for the Republic of Ireland are made in……Dublin.
            What problem then have you with the pension age being 65 in the Republic of Ireland? Ask Leo perhaps? He is flip flopping on his pension plans.

          2. Cian

            Sinn Fein don’t bother sitting in Westminister.

            Sinn Fein voted in Northern Ireland to raise the Pension age to 66. Why didn’t they vote against it if they feel so strongly about it?

  2. 01101101 01100011

    here’s a question, straight open question and I want to remain aware not to over dramatise this….

    is THIS Civil War, live?

    are we right now witnessing The Civil War 2.0?

    rich vs poor
    ideology A vs ideology B
    no, you’re MUCH dirtier than we are
    revenge for my great grandfather…


      1. 01101101 01100011

        amen to that! all I want is fair play Boj. and I know when I’m being conned. but this…it’s just so so obvious I can’t help but wonder if it’s the whites of the eyes now, Us vs Them.

        or does this happen every time there’s an election?

    1. :-Joe

      It’s a full century of civil war politics… Auld bad habits die hard… Welcome to Oirland…

      Plus added to that you have a lack of concious evolution and a stubborness against the change that can only come from self reflection and honesty with one’s-self that you were repeatedly doing it wrong before.

      A lot of foolish tribalised behaviour but mostly caused and encouraged by the constant, incessant brainwashing by the establishment and it’s various estate’s of influence for self-interest to keep the cash flow pipeline from the public to the private ticking over as smooth as possible.

      The politics of fear, hatred, averice and greed by a corrupted system of government, media etc.


  3. BS

    It is indeed facinating to see rival parties come together to throw mud att another party that might shake their staus quo…however…i just cant vote for sinn fein. They havent reconciled and addressed any of their role in the very recent history of violence on this island and on the mainland uk. They have members who are still members of an illegal terrorist organisation. Gerry and Martin were active participants in violence as part of their membership of the IRA. If they just came out, admitted that they were part of it, resolved that it was seen as necessary then and condemn and expel anyone who is still sympathetic to or members of the IRA they could be seen as a legitimate alternative. Regardless of the “troubles” related violence, there are elements of the IRA who are now organised criminals, ATM robberies, drug dealing, supplying weapons to other criminals south of the border, yet none of this is called out by anyone. Everyone knows the illegal activites going on in the border regions, and those people canvasing or even standing for election have been, or maybe still are involved.

    Im desperate to vote for anyone but FFG, and i may give a no.2 to the sinn fein candidate just to keep out aontu, but it will be an uncomfortable vote for me.

    1. postmanpat

      Ah go on!!! vote for SF . vote for “change” (by change I mean change back to 70’s /80’s levels of sectarian violence and scumbaggery seen in the north except down in Dublin this time because the country will be run by thugs)

        1. Rob_G

          I mean – look at what a vibrant economic powerhouse that Northern Ireland has become under their stewardship

  4. BS

    I also absolutely dont agree with a plan to unify the 6 counties. It would be an absolute disaster, economically, pollitically, socially. The north is like a different world, not just a different country. If anyone thinks that the unionists would welcome being combined onto the republic they are sorely mistaken, then there’s the question of the republic welcoming the unionists into the republic. Would you all enjoy the orange order marches every 12th july closing down the city centre? the added sectarian violence that would surely occur?

    Its idealistic plastic nationalism, the type that comes from lads down the pub who put “IRA” into the fields of athenry.

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      You and many may not agree with the plan, but what if the majority of Northern Ireland voted for reunification one day (as is the proviso of the GFA)?

    2. SydneyT

      It’s disappointing that people always mention economic reasons for not unifying Ireland.
      What happened a century ago is that a bunch of people from the 26 counties cut and run with a deal for themselves whilst abandoning their brethren in the 6 counties to a life where they would not be treated as equals, would be given zoned neighborhoods to control their vote etc.
      It’s a side of us that I like the least. The Me Fein approach.
      Of course I understand that it’s probably ingrained in our psyche from hundreds of years of oppression and the divisiveness that caused.

      1. Cian

        Technically the Dublin government took the 32 counties out of the UK into the Irish Free State. The following day the 6 counties (by democratic majority) decided to opt out and remain in the UK.

        1. SydneyT

          That’s one way of documenting what happened Cian but it doesn’t give a real feel for how it happened.
          Ireland was a single entity country in it’s own right until that point. The decision to allow 6 counties vote to break away and split a country along an unnatural border was made specifically because it allowed the unionists of those 6 counties to control it. And in doing so, the nationalist people of those 6 counties were cut loose.

          1. BS

            if people in Northern Ireland would like to live in the republic they are perfectly welcome to move here. Making the 6 counties part of the republic is not the answer.

          2. SydneyT

            Political and social difficulties are valid reasons not to rush into uniting the country. Economic reasons should not be used in the argument.
            Your suggestion that people are welcome to move here is a show of your sad understanding of lifes complexities.

  5. Eoineyo

    Have you had a member of SF look at you side ways or are you able to rant about SF? If so RTÉ, Independent newspapers, the Irish times, Newstalk and TodayFM need to hear from you. Our impartial media does not believe in interfering or influencing the democratic process but sometimes needs must.
    Thank you for your cooperation.

    1. Boj

      All this crap about fake news online and manipulated content yet this is our national broadcaster who we pay for…scary stuff and its not only at election time. The media mould the electorate like putty…hopefully lots wake up after this.

      1. Rob_G

        I think it just goes to show how much of a remarkably easy ride, relatively speaking, that SF get most of the time.

        Like, Dennis Naughten went to dinner with a broadband contract bidder (which he certainly should not have done), and had to resign as a result. Martin Ferris went to pick up a man being released from prison who had murdered a garda, and was able to continue his duties as a TD as normal for the next 10 years. The idea that this type of behaviour didn’t warrant expulsion from the party is as baffling as it is horrifying.

        1. Eoineyo

          Just wondering is the point of going to prison not to pay your debt to society?
          Should the same standard not be set then for perhaps a certain business man, certain TD and a certain tribunal?
          Or perhaps someone who attempts to commit insurance fraud?
          Or someone who becomes leader of his party by running a hate campaign against those in need of social welfare?
          Or public services steadily getting worse?
          I suppose it just depends on which wrong you think is right or how much cognitive dissonance you would like to apply.

          1. Rob_G

            I agree that rapists and murderers should be released from prison when they have served their sentence – I wouldn’t go and pick them up myself in a public show of support.

            [then there was some vague half-accusations in the middle]

            You’re lecturing me on cognitive dissonance in the course of defending a party that literally cheers and applauds Garda murderers…

          2. Eoineyo

            Lol yeah keep those fingers in your ears, we know the way it needs to be played out, SF are the baddies and FFG are the goodies, if only life was that simple but good to see conditioning works so long as you remain tuned in.

  6. A Person

    It’s all the medias’ fault that people don’t like the shinners? Seriously. No, we don’t like you because of terrible economic policies, your criminality, the crap you made of the NI when in govt, and the fact that the Belfast 6 tells you what to do. Also the fact that you now have at least 10 shrills on here.

    1. Eoineyo

      Ah settle petal and take off the tin foil hat. Everyone has been waiting for the media’s reaction to SF’s rise in the polls, this is like night following day. Personally I have no love for SF but I have had enough for what the establishment parties have done to this country, thankfully I don’t let the media influence my opinions and I am not a blind follower of any party so my opinions are based on such facts as homelessness figures and hospital waiting lists.
      If you need to find anyone to blame on SF’s popularity blame the establishment, there is only so much corruption and sanitising of the incompetence that people will take.

      1. ReproBertie

        Let’s not forget that in the 2016 election FFG’s combined 1st preference vote was 49.8% and that’s less than half. That means more than half the Irish electorate in 2016 didn’t want FFG. 4 years of incompetence later, according to opinion polls, that number has grown, unsurprisingly.

        Of course the only poll that counts is on Saturday.

        1. V

          But the Healy Rae bucks collected over 38% of first Prefs in GE 2016

          Over the Montains In Tipp
          Lowry and Mattie broke 30% between them

          And then there’s Naughten who collected over 30% out of Roscommon -all on his own

          All FF/ FG Axis Gene Pool

  7. Kevin Higgins

    How very odd it is, that it was McDowell’s Grandfather Eoin MacNeill who issued the counter-order to the Irish Volunteers NOT to mobilise at Easter 1916, which curtailed that Insurrection and essentially confined it to Dublin. That is merely a cast iron historical fact.
    It is also a fact that Charlie Haughey speaking of McDowell’s entry to the Dáil as a Dessiecrat in 1987 said: “He’s the nastiest piece of work ever to come into this place”.
    I first encountered him almost 50 years ago. I don’t like him, because I never found anything to like. I don’t care, whether anybody cares if I like him or not.
    That is also a cast-iron fact.

    1. Rob_G

      I’m not sure why you would judge people for the actions of their grandfathers – I mean, who knows, you might have even had a grandfather who was good at poetry.

      1. Boj

        Sure isnt that how FFG bestow their seats to their kids? On their daddy’s and in some cases grandaddy’s performance?

        1. Rob_G

          People whose parents are involved are conferred a distinct advantage through name recognition, etc – however, the seats aren’t theirs to give, and children or grandchildren have to put themselves before the elaborate, same as anyone else.

          Toireasa Ferris and Helen McEntee surely had a leg-up when they ran for seats formerly held by their father’s but they had to get the same number of votes for a quota as anyone else.

          1. Rob_G

            I literally cannot fathom your line of reasoning.

            “Mary Hanafin has an over-generous pension; ergo, I will support that party that supports murdering Gardaí and census-takers”

            – how big a pension do you reckon that Gerry Adams has?

    2. postmanpat

      The same Charlie Haughey who staged a UCD pro-Nazi counter march against Trinity College who calibrated VE day?

  8. 01101101 01100011

    Could I just point something out please that might just clear up the mystery surrounding bias in the media…maybe you know this already but if not it could be good to know:

    RTE – a state organisation, financed by the state dependent on the state who are currently FFG and of course have been since the inception or the state

    Newstalk – financed by businessman Dennis O’Brien who funds FG

    Today FM – financed by businessman Dennis O’Brien who funds FG

    Independent Newspaper – ……………………Dennis O’Brien who funds FG

    Irish Times – c’mon I think you have the gist of this by now. my poor fingers are getting sore. not yet? oh go on then just one more so:

    Virgin TV – private organisation, which is now owned by Liberty Global businessman John Malone aka “Cable Cowboy” one of the worlds richest men and competitor to Rupert Murdoch who in 2015 embarked on a massive property buying spree in (go on, guess where?) Yep, Johnno is one of Ireland’s LARGEST PROPERTY OWNERS you’ll be happy to know. also you’ll be pleased to know that he has a positive view of Ireland and the financial repair work carried out after the crash and heartily praises the pro-business government of Fine Gael and Labour.
    Why Ireland? well see John bought his Victorian pile gaff in Wicklow after the crash and started hanging out with a Galway fella called John Lally, one of Ireland’s boom-time property developers. Ye with me so far?

    As Malone quipped in an interview with the Irish Times: he jokes with Lally, one of the National Asset Management Agency’s (Nama) biggest debtors, asking him, “When are they going to let you out of the penalty box?” The Galwegian started telling him about investment opportunities in the depressed hotel and office sectors, which set his financial antennae twitching

    You’ll be glad to know that John loves Ireland! It’s like a virus apparently. Buying up property, breeding horsies and running TV3 sorry Virgin Media no doubt. LOL. yaay John Malone!

    so I wonder now…why might these people not like a change, hm?

    1. Eoineyo

      Isn’t the CIO of the independent also a close and personal friend of Leo, has been out canvassing for him and has his car covered in FG stickers.

    2. Cian

      Irish Times – c’mon I think you have the gist of this by now. my poor fingers are getting sore. not yet? oh go on then just one more so:
      huh? so you couldn’t find a link between the Irish Times and FG then? But you’ll pretend there is one. LOL

      It is more likely that the reason you find these organisations are not so friendly toward SF:
      1. SF attracts a younger voter
      2. SF attracts a poorer voter
      The people working in the media don’t fall into these categories.

      1. 01101101 01100011

        Hi Cian

        to be clear I’m not SF particularly

        what I’m about is putting a halt to the two party domination of the state by whatever means necessary (voting primarily for people with a vocational attitude and tactically also)

        I want to throw an nmi at the system, halt!

        for me this is more an issue of Rich v Poor (simplification) I want fairness and a prospect of a decent life here

        I have no baggage, if SF helps there, grand. they seem to be the only party genuinely interested in people like me anyway really

        BUT do you think it’s perfectly reasonable for the state and all the above information mechanisms with their obvious demonstrated vested investments in it to attack what threatens them, it’s citizenry and their will to the cost of the nation? in my view if that’s the case then wtf is a nation at all in the first place!?

        are there any journo or media students on here? I’d love to hear what you made of this wall of noise today?

        1. Cian

          Based on your comments over the last week you are clearly SF.

          Sinn Fein WILL be either my #1 or #2

          The MSM is there (primarily) to make money. Nothing more. They will publish any story that will get people buying the paper [actually its about reading their ads]. All the organisations you mentioned above have attacked (at various times) FF, FG, Labour, and whoever you’re having yourself. This week SF are in the news – so they are the target.

          As a member of the public it is up to me to read from multiple sources (I was attracted to BS because it took a more independent view on stories) and make up my own mind.

          1. 01101101 01100011

            oh hey Cian

            you’re a little scoundrel!

            I thought you made a really quick jump to accusing me of being SF….so I went back and checked what I wrote on that post, direct cut/paste:

            “I’m voting disruptively
            I’m voting ANYONE BUT FFG
            Sinn Fein WILL be either my #1 or #2 ”

            I think the word you’re looking for to describe yourself there is disingenuous


          2. Cian

            I repeat:

            Based on your comments over the last week you are clearly SF. As you said yourself:

            “Sinn Fein WILL be either my #1 or #2 ”

            Nothing disingenuous there.

          3. 01101101 01100011


            you clipped a single line from within a posting where I was explaining my honest position, within the very paragraph!?!?!

            feigning that you’d read my posts and come up with this SF assessment!

            you know something, I’ve enjoyed Broadsheet, this is my 1st vote, I’ve had good robust exchanges with others with different views and I’ve expressed myself as best I could in the short times I get to type and read but you know what? you’re something else entirely!

            wow! screw you!

          4. GiggidyGoo

            That’s Cian for you. And every time he gets caught out. Just like the rest of the liars in FG. Diversionary, deflecting – all the hallmarks of the blueshirts.

          5. 01101101 01100011

            btw regarding the IT quip Cian made….I had replied but it’s lost somewhere in the ether, what I said more or less was that you only have to read the bit on Wikipedia to get your cues:

            Though formed as a Protestant nationalist paper, within two decades and under new owners it had become the voice of British unionism in Ireland.[5] It is no longer marketed as a unionist paper; it presents itself politically as “liberal and progressive”,[6] as well as promoting neoliberalism on economic issues

            not that I need Wikipedia to tell me that – the IT are part of the problem, every dog on the street knows that they make their money marketing and selling property….simply put they’re cheerleaders for the rich in my opinion

        2. 01101101 01100011

          hi Cian

          Sinn Fein WILL be either my #1 or #2

          you haven’t read all of my comments so or you wouldn’t form that view

          as above:

          for me this is more an issue of Rich v Poor (simplification) I want fairness and a prospect of a decent life here

          I’m not here to convince you anyway, I just know what I’m doing with my vote.

    3. :-Joe

      +100%.. Indeed, when profit is to be had at the expense of the people…

      The roots and branches of corruption spread deep, far and wide….

      You don’t need to worry about Cian he’s almost harmless.
      Intelligent enough afaik, but his blindspot is his unwaivering devotion,defence and support of our century old hijacking of true conservativist values by various cabal’s of governments and currently by the neo-liberal economic establishment status quo… etc etc

      IMHO, Cian is most probably a deeply morally conservative type -which is not a bad thing at all, if kept in check. i.e Yin / Yang etc.


      1. 01101101 01100011

        Hi Joe

        well thanks, but it doesn’t look like a genuine mistake or misinterpretation on his part to me

        happy to accept an apology but doubt any is forthcoming, lets see

  9. RuilleBuille

    Well after the ambush by the media and the big two political parties over the last 24 hours the Quinn case didn’t come up once on the doors this morning. A few were critical of the obvious politicising this dreadful killing.

    1. Rob_G

      “Well after the ambush by the media…”

      – I think you are being a little melodramatic; an ‘ambush’ would be stopping a van full of workers and shooting 10 of them in a ditch at the side of the road.

          1. Rob_G

            You and bisted are despicable people. I hope you never experience a single moment of joy for the duration of your pernicious, hateful existence

    2. A Person

      So you and Fart are shinners, confirmed. And if you define, “no-one said it on the doorstep” as an excuse for murder of a 21 year old, that’s fine so. You shinners don’t get it. Murder is abhorrent, unless of course the bully thugs in RA did it. Aye, the assembly, eff off back to Belfast

      1. D

        what even is a Civil War party?

        your sanctimonious nonsense does not have a leg to stand on.

        chancing your arms tribunal.

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