Tag Archives: Heather Humphreys

From top: Former Anglo Irish Bank boss Seán FitzPatrick and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries

No.

And don’t call her Shirley.

In May of last year, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) would provide a full report into the collapse of the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chief Seán FitzPatrick.

Mr FitzPatrick was acquitted of furnishing false information to Anglo’s auditors last year.

It followed solicitor with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) Kevin O’Connell admitting that he had destroyed documents relevant to the criminal proceedings against Mr FitzPatrick, among other matters.

On Sunday, Stephen O’Brien, in The Sunday Times, reported that the ODCE’s 235-page report on the failed trial, replete with 3,000 pages of appendices, will not be published.

[It was delivered to the then Minister for Enterprise Frances Fitzgerald in June 2017]

Mr O’Brien reported:

The ODCE report includes correspondence with third parties, internal emails, and draft witness statements.

A source familiar with the document said: “It provides a detailed and fact-based narrative of the various factors that contributed to the trial judge directing the jury to acquit the accused. Under no circumstances could it be considered a whitewash.”

Further to this…

The Business and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys was interviewed by Áine Lawlor on RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon about the refusal to publish the full report and the decision to, instead, publish a 30-page summary-like document about the shortcomings.

The following exchange came after Ms Humphreys – who said she intends to turn the ODCE into an independent statutory agency and said the ODCE has since received more money and staff – insisted the ODCE is doing a “lot of good work”.

Áine Lawlor: “We have heard all these promises about transparency and accountability and resources and all the rest before. The track record, as you’ve referred to yourself, is patchy to say the least.

“Now, the Cabinet, the Government has, according to media reports, a 235-page report from the ODCE, with 3,000 pages of appendices, going through all the previous failings. Now given that Anglo Irish and IBRC, between them cost the Irish State and taxpayer nearly €35billion and that debt is still there in the national debt – why should the public not have the fullest account?

“Why are we only getting this 30 pages that you’ve published today?”

Surely we deserve full transparency here?”

Heather Humphreys: “Yeah, well I just want to say that I’d like to be able to publish this report but I can’t. Because of legal advice, I would be contravening the Companies Act, if I did so – that’s why I have, today, published an account of the shortcomings identified by Judge Aylmer…I just want to make sure that what happened in the past, and it is historic now, will not happen again.”

Lawlor: “Well, saying it’s historic is all, the point about all of these things is whether we’re learning from the historic mistakes or whether we’re doomed to repeat them. How do we know that you are actually, minister, in the measures you’re taking, doing what’s needed – when we don’t have the fullest view of what went wrong in the past?”

Humphreys: “Well, what I’m saying is, is that, you know, it’s not legally possible for the minister to publish the report under Section 955 of the Companies Act and that’s why I’m publishing an account of the shortcomings…”

Listen back in full here

Related: ODCE report on Sean FitzPatrick trial collapse to stay confidential (Stephen O’Brien, The Sunday Times)

Cabinet approves proposed changes to ODCE (RTÉ)

Previously: ‘The Minister Has Asked The ODCE For A Full Report’

Rollingnews

 

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation


An open letter to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys calling on her to withdraw an amendment to Ireland’s whistleblower law which, claim the signatories, could lead to workers facing legal action or criminal prosecution and allow businesses to stop their employees from reporting fraud and corruption to the regulators and the Gardaí.

Via Transparency International ireland

The amendment has been made under the EU Protection of Trade Secrets Regulation and has recently been introduced by Minister Humphreys to transpose the EU Trade Secrets Directive. The regulation amends Ireland’s Protected Disclosures Act 2014 (PDA) to require whistleblowers to show they were motivated by the general public interest, even if they report a crime to the relevant authorities and their allegations are true.

John Devitt, Chief Executive of Transparency International (TI) Ireland, says:

‘”his represents the single-most significant set-back for the fight against white-collar-crime in a decade. Banking and private healthcare whistleblowers are now going to think twice about coming forward.

Requiring a whistleblower to show they were motivated by the general public interest means that many whistleblowers will be expected to show that their motives were pure, that they bore no ill-will towards their colleagues or that they were the ideal employee.

Lawyers for rogue employers or trade-secret holders will inevitably question the whistleblower’s character to show that they were motivated by malice or self-interest
’.”

Irish whistleblowers could face criminal prosecution for reporting white-collar-crimes and cover-ups (Transparency Ireland)

Rollingnews

Thanks John Finucane

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys

Further to the allegations made against former artistic director of The Gate theatre in Dublin, Michael Colgan…

And further to the announcement by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys that she has invited eight leaders from Irish theatre organisation to meet her and the Arts Council next week…

To discuss ways in which the Arts Department and Arts Council can create a “safe culture and environment” for those working in theatre…

John O’Brien writes on Facebook:

So just a few thoughts. Its been said many times over the last few weeks that one of the principal (but not the only) causes of the abuse and harrassment was “unaccountable power”.

So what does the Minister go and do? Invite eight “leaders” from Irish theatre organisations. I’m sure they’re all fine people, but how accountable is their power.

And why only theatre? And surely, surely if you are serious about “listening” and “hearing” then the people you should be convening are those on the receiving end of the behaviour – they are the ones who understand it, they are the ones who know how it can be contained, and they are the ones who know what has to change.

And if you think that decisions can be made for these people as opposed to by these people then you are a part of the problem.

As someone remarked about the Paradise Papers recently, this is not a glitch in the system, this IS the system. The actions of the Department with its workshops on governance is the classic tinkering with the system approach so beloved of our politicians.

Everything is absolutely fine we just need to iron out a few problems.

No. Unaccounability, abuse of power, bullying, harrassment and fear are the system. (And not just the arts, but accross all sectors of this country – including politics)

Remember that – as Annette Clancy pointed out to me – if this group of “leaders” was convened three months ago Michael Colgan would have been on it.

Previously: “I Knew It Was Likely I Was Never Going To Work In The Gate Again”

John O’Brien (Facebook)

Humphreys announces measures tackling harassment (RTE)

H/T: Annette Clancy

Charter2

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From top: Chartered Lands’ plans for the Carlton site on O’Connell Street and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys

You may recall how, in the High Court last Friday, Judge Max Barrett ruled that extra buildings and lane ways in the Moore Street – separate to numbers 14-17 – should be given State protection.

In the court, Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys’ department argued that the extra buildings were not of historical importance.

The ruling will impact Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land’s plans, above, to build a commercial development on the Carlton site on O’Connell Street.

Further to this, RTÉ’s Áine Lawlor asked Ms Humphreys about the ruling on News At One this afternoon.

Aine Lawlor: “I want to talk to you minster about the recent High Court judgement, particularly long, High Court judgement which pretty definitively ruled for those people who were looking for number 16 Moore Street and the areas around it to be kept from development and the fact that they won their case. Lot of those people now saying it’s now time for you and Peter Cooney from the Save 16 Moore Street committee, saying you should resign and your senior officials, because this was the wrong thing to do and cost the State many millions.”

Heather Humphreys: “Yeah well, first of all, the judgement was delivered last Friday, it runs to almost 400 pages and I and my officials, we’re still studying the judgement and the implications and you’ll be aware that the situation regarding Moore Street long predates my time and, as minister, number 14 and 17 were first declared a national monument back in 2007 and I’m the first person to have actually done anything about preserving those buildings for 14 – 17 Moore Street and we know that they are, they predate 1916, and they were the final headquarters for the 1916 leaders. Now work had started because they’re very, they’re in a fragile condition, 14 – 17, it’s fragile and work had started in November on conserving the buildings and bringing them back to exactly where they were in 1916. Now that work was delayed by protests and occupations in recent months. We have the court ruling and I do need time to consider it in full. And I’m not in a position, at this point, to outline my next course of action but I will consider the judgement and the case is due back in court on April the 5th when we will have further discussions with the judge but I just want to be clear that my priority is to continue the work on the buildings from numbers 14 – 17 Moore Street. And I wouldn’t be in a position to go into any further details at this point.”

Lawlor: “Minister, I know you’re the acting minister, but this is, you know, these are the buildings that have been designated and, indeed, in this very long judgement, the judge talks at length about the case of the Moore Street battle site, how evocative it is and how important it is and how much it impressed him. The state has lost its case. The Save 16 Moore Street people have won their high court case – are you going to appeal to the Supreme Court or are you going to accept the High Court judgement? Surely, this weekend of all weekends, you should be able to say?”

Humphreys: “Yeah, well, the point is 14-17 Moore Street, they are, they’re the four buildings that remain intact. They’re actually the only ones that remain intact and they are my priority because that’s what the last Council of War meeting was held..”

Lawlor: “Is the High Court judgement something you accept?”

Humphreys: “Well, first of all, the High Court judgement, I have to, I do have to look at, and I have to study it, it is 400 pages and we are back in court on the 5th of April to have further discussions with the judge so I must give it due consideration before I make any decision.”

Lawlor:Do you not give our history more consideration and not leave it to the landowner to appeal if they want to proceed with their development there? I mean the State, surely, it’s interest ought to be our history rather than any development there?

Humphreys: “Yeah, well I’m being clear, I want to see the work continued on 14-17 Moore Street and the work is to restore it. Now, I have to give, I really do have to give a 400-page judgement, I have to give it due consideration and I, as I said, I and my officials, we’re still studying it and its implications. And, as I said, I will, I have be back in court on the 5th and I will, I will give it consideration.”

Lawlor: “Thank you very much…”

Listen back here

Previously: Moore Protection

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lhall

Today’s Irish Daily Mail and Lorraine Hall (above)

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys has appointed her second cousin as her ministerial special adviser, the Irish Daily Mail can reveal today.
Lorraine Hall, who is from the minister’s Cavan-Monaghan constituency, signed her official contract just 15 days ago, on September 29.

…However, Ms Hall – press adviser to Alan Shatter when he was justice minister and policy adviser to Fine Gael in opposition – has worked for Ms Humphreys since her appointment to Cabinet in July and is being paid an annual salary by the taxpayer of €75,647.
However, yesterday Ms Hall repeatedly refused to admit that she was a blood relative of the minister – until it was finally confirmed by her own department.

Last night, the department said in a statement: ‘Ms Hall was formally appointed as a special adviser to the minister following a Government decision on September 10.

‘Under the Ethics in Public Office Act, a statement of qualifications and whether the person appointed as a special adviser is a relative of the office holder must be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas within 60 days of their appointment.

The statement went on to claim that Ms Hall’s relationship to Ms Humphreys did not come under the scope of ethics regulations.

‘The Ethics in Public Act 1995 clearly sets out the definition of a relative of the office holder: “Relative”, in relation to a person, means a brother, sister, parent or spouse of the person or a child of the person or of the spouse,’ it said. ‘Ms Hall is not a relative of the minister as defined under the Act.

“Any reference to their distant relationship would be utterly unfair without referencing Lorraine’s extensive experience and suitability for the job.’ The statement added:‘ Ms Humphreys’ father, who is deceased, and Ms Hall’s father, were cousins.’

New Arts Minister Gave €75K Adviser Job To Her Cousin (Senan Molony, Irish Daily Mail) [not available online]