Tag Archives: Colm Keaveney

From top: Denis O’Brien; Former Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Colm Keaveney outside Leinster House in 2014; Denis O’Brien

Readers will recall businessman Denis O’Brien’s case against Red Flag which allegedly compiled a dossier critical of Mr O’Brien.

It’s O’Brien’s case that the dossier both defames him and is evidence of a criminal conspiracy against him.

Last December former Fianna Fáil TD Colm Keaveney swore an affidavit favourable to Mr O’Brien’s case and named Declan Ganley as the person who commissioned Red Flag to compile the dossier.

Mr Ganley denies this is the case.

Mr O’Brien dropped a defamation case against Mr Keaveney after he suggested Mr Ganley commissioned the dossier.

And now…

Mr Keaveney’s affidavit has come under questioning after an affidavit by Mr Keaveney’s former parliamentary assistant Alan Hynes.

The Irish Times, reports:

Mr O’Brien’s counsel, Michael Cush SC, [yesterday] read several affidavits, including one by Alan Hynes. In it, Mr Hynes says Mr Keaveney told him that, in meeting “Denis O’Brien’s representative”, €250,000 was mentioned to him.

Mr Cush read from Mr Hynes’ affidavit: “Mr Keaveney informed me,” Mr Hynes swore, “that he agreed to co-operate with the Plaintiff [Mr O’Brien] as part of the settlement of the plaintiff’s defamation proceedings against him [Mr Keaveney]. I say and believe that this taints the veracity of the averments [assertions] sworn by Mr Keaveney in these proceedings in support of the plaintiff’s application to amend his pleadings.

“Mr Keaveney had initially indicated to me that the settlement offer was just a discussion but that he was minded to take it. A rough figure of €250,000 to settle the proceedings was mentioned to me by Mr Keaveney.

“At one stage Mr Keaveney told me that his response to Denis O’Brien’s representative had been ‘just tell me what he needs said and I’ll say it’.”

Affidavit claims former TD ‘was offered €250,000’ in Denis O’Brien case (Peter Murtagh, The Irish Times)

90305576Colm Keaveney TD

Former Labour Party Chairman and Galway East TD Colm Keaveney went on the Sean Moncrieff show on Today FM this afternoon to discuss his life in politics.

Mr Keaveney joined Fianna Fail in December 2013 six months after leaving the Labour Party amid unease with the leadership of Eamon Gilmore and the direction of the party.

The host began with the dark side.

Sean Moncrieff: “How dark is politics?”

Colm Keaveney: “It can be pretty nasty, it can be pretty rough, I mean when you pull the curtain back and you look at the sort of mechanics around it, you see what John Perry’s going through today, now John Perry’s not alone, I mean 30% of Oireachtas TDs and Senators have family spouses. You have to ask yourself the question, why is John Perry being singled out this way, obviously he is falling out of favour with the leadership of Fine Gael, the manifestations of, of that sort of dynamic, they just blow you out of the water. I’ve had very, very challenging situations in politics, when I spoke to Eamon Gilmore about voting against, you know, a budget involving cuts in child benefits, you know, It was a pretty rough discussion, it was pretty rough, I’m delighted I made the decision, but…”

Moncrieff: “Now, what does ‘pretty rough’ mean, for two politicians, is it ‘you, ye bollox, you’re going to vote for us,’ is that what we’re talking about?”

“You know, from the outset it has been verified, for one reason or another, you know senior politicians try to accentuate their own authority by singling people out to come down heavy on them, to look as if they’re big strong Stalinist ‘I can take them on’, and from the outset in politics my election in 2011 I was singled out as that person within the Labour Party, despite my commitment to what I thought was fairness, equality, represent my constituents and to give people a chance who were on the periphery to get on in life, and I fought tooth and nail for that, and unfortunately I had to vote against a budget and the consequences of that can be heavy on the family, yeah, and on the person.”

Moncrieff: “And, when you’re in the room with Gilmore, and Gilmore is saying ‘Vote or else’, what is ‘or else’?”

“There was a lot of eyeballing and ‘are you with or agin me, because when you walk out that door, life is going to change for you.’ Your family, everybody, you know. The media, you know. Because by the time I got home I had photographs, my children were being photographed in the school playground, they were writing stories about my wife, they write stories about… so, yeah, the full rigour of the pro-government media will come down and wallop you.”

“Was it implied to you that that would be orchestrated?”

“By the time I got into the car onto the M50 it was in process. I was told going into that meeting ‘you’re going to get your neck measured, you’re going to walk the, em, you’re going to walk the plank here, when you’re pushed off that plank your life is going to change’.”

Moncrieff: “‘You’re going to get your neck measured,’ was that the phrase used?”

Keaveney: “Yep.”

“Jesus, that’s a scary phrase.”

“It is a scary phrase, but I’m only giving you the soft stuff. I mean, bullying is endemic in many employments and, you know, politics is no different, it’s a a rough trade, em, the veneer of politics, the bit you see, the cuddly parts of it, are constructed, really what happens behind the scene is that you have an authoritarian system of whipping people to do what they don’t want to do telling people that there will be consequences for you, your constituents if you don’t draw the line, there’s no space for dissent, critical analysis, looking at the fairness or the impact, at the consequences, the human impact, the consequences of decisions. There’s no time for that in politics, you’re either for or against, and when you’re against, you’re a threat.”

“But didn’t you always know that? When you got into politics, didn’t you always know that?”

“Again, I’m blessed to be a politician, I wake up every morning, I pinch myself, going, I’m blessed to be given that jersey, I’m not going to dishonour my constituency, they sent me in to articulate, to represent the views of vulnerable people, a vast number of people in 2011 were going through incredibly difficult times, I was knocking on doors on minus 10, minus 15 in that cold February and i was coming across houses that were knocking down their own staircases to feed the fire so it was a rough time and I have a very vivid memory of the difficulties that people had and I was going to remain faithful to articulating that.“

Moncrieff: “How come you were the only one, Colm.”

Keaveney: “I’m not going to say that I was the only one but I was the only one that made the choice, I made a deliberate choice.”

Moncrieff: “But why didn’t others make the choice, does that mean that every other politician…”

Keaveney: “Because political parties by their nature are about climbing, and climbing to the top and those people who have co-operated with the austerity and co-operated with the, the convenient loss of memory around commitments given to child benefit, third level fees, the respite grant, cuts to mental health, they’re all ministers today.”

Listen here

The dark side of Irish politics: I was told “You’re going to get your neck measured” (Eoin Brennan, Newstalk)

26/06/2013. Colm Keaveney Resigns as chairman and



Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland


Turncoat Disillusioned Labour Galway East TD {then councillor] Colm Keaveney seeks YOUR vote in 2011.

Needs more Latin.

Lest we forget…


Thanks Aisling Twomey

Earlier: A Limerick A day

90322742Colm Keaveney with Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin at the ‘plinth’ at Leinster House, Dublin this afternoon.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)



Former Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney.

Previously: Later

(Laura Hutton/Photocall ireland)




Colm Keaveney, who has resigned as chair of the Labour Party,

He writes:

It has become popular in recent times to talk of ‘hard decisions’. In my experience there are few decisions worth taking that are not reached without considerable difficulty. Politics is about decisions and taking them is just doing our job. Politics is equally about trust and convictions. It is the trust people place in us, and the courage of our convictions, that should enable us to make decisions.

I have been honoured to serve as Chair of the Labour Party. It is a role that was entrusted to me by the members who make up the organisation. I have always promised to question and debate decisions and to avoid the groupthink that destroyed our country.

I know in recent weeks many members may have been disappointed with my objections to certain provisions in the Protection of Life during Pregnancy bill. I apologise to anyone that feels that way but I hope that all can understand that my concerns are genuine. Labour is a pro-choice party and I never had a difficulty with that until it came to considering the recent legislation.

However, I believe it is right to question all legislation in order to ensure that what we deliver is just and workable. I hope that all can appreciate that my approach is honest and made with the best of intentions even if they disagree.

Economic issues and the creation of a just society were the reasons I joined the Labour Party and entered politics. These go to the core of my beliefs. While we can all agree and disagree on approaches or particular policies this should remain the central theme and aim of any Labour movement worthy of that name.

I have endeavoured at all times to listen to members views and to articulate their beliefs on such issues, sadly this has often meant that I must come into conflict with those who currently lead the party. I have found that the more I articulate the views of members, or try to facilitate a discussion of real Labour policy, I am seen as a problem, a difficulty, an inconvenience to those who believe they know more and understand more than the people they represent.

Unfortunately I can no longer go along with what is increasingly like a political charade. We promise one thing then do another and blame it on someone else. The members must accept what they are given and the leadership will tolerate no dissent.

It is now apparent that cuts to SNAs, resource hours and to the mobility allowance are not decisions taken in isolation to one another. They are a part of a consistent approach that this Government has taken, whereby those groups least able to defend themselves are targeted for decisive action, while powerful vested interests are left untouched.

The partial reverse of some of those cuts is welcome. However, this is no way to run a country – proposing cuts, distressing people and forcing them to engage in protest to secure the reversal of measures that should never have been decided on in the first place. Why not simply engage in consultation first and try to understand the issue rather than acting arrogantly in believing that you know best?

I have tried to seek change. My aim has always been to see the Labour Party hold true to the proud values on which it was established. I find, however, that I can no longer perform this task. The more I wish to represent even the most basic of Labour values the more alienated I become from those at the top. I am in no doubt that my presence is no longer welcome by them. A party cannot function on that basis. It is with a heavy heart that I am forced to reach the only decision I believe is honourable and resign as Chair of the Labour party and from the Labour party itself.

I entered politics to try and make a genuine difference. None of us expects to change the world but we do hope to have a positive impact. The only barometer we can have is if we retain the trust of those who elect us. Honesty is not a cheap commodity to be traded at the steps of government; it is something we should value. If anyone is to have self-respect and dignity then surely it is in being able to say that they stood by their beliefs and did what they thought was right.

I will continue to represent the people of my constituency and people from anywhere in this country on the same basis that they elected me. I will not breach the contract that they made with me just for the sake of staying in a position. Too many at the cabinet table are willing to trade what they held dear for one more hour in the sun.

Politics can change but only if we have the desire to make it happen. Politicians must be brave and must genuinely believe in something more than their own career. The people decide our fate and all we can do is be happy with our actions and be true to our beliefs. I will stand by the people and I will continue to question and lead when necessary until they decide otherwise.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Deirdre, my parents, family and friends for all their support throughout the years. No one can sustain themselves in a political career without the support and advice of those closest to them.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank all of those in Labour that I have worked and debated with during my time in the party. It has been rewarding and I have always been touched by the basic decency of the party’s grassroots membership and their commitment to improving our country and society. I wish them ever success and good fortune in their endeavours.

Colm Keaveney TD

Colm Keaveney resigns from Labour Party (RTE)

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Labour has suffered a serious blow with the defection of party chairman Colm Keaveney, who voted against the Government’s more contentious budgetary measures, meaning he faces automatic expulsion from the parliamentary party.

He now joins Róisín Shortall, Willie Penrose, Tommy Broughan and Patrick Nulty, all of whom have been similarly expelled.

Tánaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore last night said Mr Keaveney should not continue as party chairman.

“I don’t think it’s tenable for somebody who’s out of the parliamentary Labour party to hold a senior office in the party”, he told RTE news.

Fair enough.

Previously: That Would Explain It So…

Keaveney defection over cuts a major blow to Labour (Harry McGee, Mary Minihan, Irish Times)

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

Saw [spouse-employing Labour TD] Colm Keaveney (above, with spouse)  looking fairly distressed  in Cup Dublin [Cafe on South Leinster Street, Dublin], spilling his heart out to John Drennan [Sunday Independent]..I wonder?..


Email to the Broadsheet newsdesk this morning which was then ignored we acted on immediately.


Something in Latin.

And then.


Life moves pretty fast sometimes.

(Photocall Ireland)