Tag Archives: Josepha Madigan

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2.

Josepha Madigan (above) Minister for the Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht outlined the spending available to her department in Budget 2020 – a reported  €354 million.

Some highlights.

In heritage:

€7 million will go to peatlands restoration and conservation works, resulting in 1,800 hectares of restored peatland in 2020, 100 jobs being generated, and 28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide being stored.

An additional €1 million will be allocated to nature conservation and biodiversity programmes under the National Parks and Wildlife Service

In Irish language:

Údarás na Gaeltachta will receive an additional capital allocation of €1m bringing its core capital allocation to €10m (an increase of over 11% on 2019). as well as an additional €200k in current funding for Gaeltacht co-operatives

In culture…

Arts Council funding for 2020 has increased by €5 million to €80 million. See yesterday’s post disputing that figure here]

€7.1 million in capital funding will be provided for the European City of Culture- Galway 2020

Screen Ireland is to receive additional funding of €1 million following the government’s decision to extend the Section 481 Film tax credit to 2024 and the regional uplift of 5%.

An additional €900,000 will be allocated to the Decade of Centenaries 2020 Programme and will include commemorative events such as Bloody Sunday on November 21 and the execution of Kevin Barry on November 1.

€1 million will be provided for the start of the transferring process of the National Symphony Orchestra to the remit of the National Concert Hall.

€250,000 will be provided to the amateur theatre sector.

Budget2020: Culture minister announces details of €354m funding; Arts Council funding highest in ten years (Irish Examiner)

Yesterday: Money For God’s Sake


At Sean Walsh Memorial Park in Tallaght, Dublin; Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart; Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe; and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

The recent destruction of wetlands at Sean Walsh Memorial Park in Tallaght, Dublin, following de-silting works at the park by South Dublin County Council, the was raised by Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart and Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe with Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Ms Madigan confirmed to the two TDs that her department will be carrying out an investigation into the matter and vowed she “won’t leave a stone unturned” during that inquiry.

South Dublin County Council released a statement on the matter on Monday.

Ms Madigan’s confirmation of an inquiry follows Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin yesterday demanding in inquiry into the matter.

During his contribution, Mr Crowe said the wetlands was a “vibrant, multi-layered eco-system”.

He added:

“It came about by accident rather than design. There was a murder in the area, the guards needed to dredge the area…silt came out of the pond and it was put on grassland. And this, over a couple of years, the eco-system came about.”

He also said:

“It was described by one person, the vandalism, the environmental vandalism that actually happened, it was like a punch in the gut and it not only demotivates people, it demoralises people, not only those environmentalists, but also volunteers who help in the park, but also park staff.

“We got it wrong, clearly. It regenerated over the years, it was bursting with life, nude spats and even the critically endangered European eel.

“…you say, minister, that there’s going to be an inquiry, I think that’s something positive. I think it was an issue of miscommunication rather than a malicious decision. Nevertheless, the environmental destruction is unacceptable, it can’t happen again in any part of the country and serious lessons need to be learned from this disaster.”

Mr Crowe went on to ask Minister Madigan to outline how long the investigation will take place, when it will finish and if her department will liaise with local representatives.

During her response, Ms Madigan said:

“My department…is investigating this matter and we have been in touch with the Heritage Officer of South Dublin County Council, indeed the Chief Executive and the director of Environmental Services also. And we have requested a report on the matter from them.

“Officers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, of my department, are arranging a visit this coming week, together with the Heritage Officer and following on from that site visit, I expect to receive a report from them, for review.

“I would caution, however, that it shouldn’t be prejudicial or premature in establishing facts until we see that report in detail and we will then take any further action as a result of those findings as we see fit.”

Mr Lahart told Ms Madigan:

“The question you must ask of the local authority is: how did communication breakdown to such an extent that one arm of the local authority didn’t know what the other arm of the local authority has done, and has essentially vandalised a natural habitat.

“That’s the first point, the second point is this: Does a local authority require a licence from the EPA to dump silt and soil in particular spots. That’s the second point.

“The third point I want to make is this. This happens widely in Ireland. I have queries, as well from constituents at the moment, in relation to the provision of play spaces in Dodder Valley – that their concerns in relation to the biodiversity impact of one of those play spaces wasn’t taken seriously by the local authority in terms of the part 8 submission.

“And we look at the ESB. The apparent jewel in the crown of semi-state bodies has not responded publicly in any meaningful way to their pollution of the River Dodder. A documentary on Prime Time covered that.

“So your response is outlining what your responsibility is as minister, but you have serious questions to ask the local authority as to how this came to happen.”

During her response, Ms Madigan said:

“I will give you the full report when I have it to hand.”

Previously: All A Blur

“Like The Surface Of The Moon”


From top: Madigan Solicitors, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2; Maria Bailey and  Minister for Arts Josepha Madigan

“I think there has been a fair degree of murkiness…. The degree of Josepha Madigan’s involvement should be fully transparent and should be clarified.

I think the Minister [Madigan] needs to make a full, comprehensive statement in relation to that.

At the moment we’re being told that the report says she hadn’t an involvement, but then we’re told she was involved in the initial documentation.

What does that mean?

Did she advise Maria Bailey to take the case?

She needs to answer the basic question: did she or did she not advise in the early stages Maria Bailey to take the case.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

Josepha Madigan needs to clarify her involvement in Maria Bailey case, says Martin (Irish Times)

Last night: “There Have Been Inconsistencies In Deputy Bailey’s Account of Events”

From top: Election literature from Fianna Fáil – later independent – councillor Paddy Madigan and from his daughter Josepha’s Fine Gael Local Election campaign in 2014

‘George Russell’ writes:

The high farce of Maria Bailey swing claim has brought focus on the previous shady dealings of her father, Councillor John Bailey, as reported in these pages.

Holding other politicians responsible, such as Charlie Flanagan, for the antics of their fathers – antisemitism in the case of Oliver J. Flanagan – would be unfair. But when we observe a continuity in attitudes and approaches across generations this is worthy of commentary.

Given Ireland’s tribal political allegiances, it may come as a surprise to learn that Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan is the daughter of a former Fianna Fáil councillor, the late Paddy Madigan, a Mayo-born solicitor who made his home in south Dublin, and later stood as an independent candidate.

Less surprising, perhaps, are the principles guiding Madigan Snr., a serial litigant, and campaigner.

His Irish Times obituary from 2014 recalls:

In 1994 he publicly wrote to then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds to resign from Fianna Fáil and stood successfully as an Independent opposing the residential property tax which he said Charles Haughey had promised him the party would abolish.

It was, he said at the time, “the most obnoxious tax ever levied on the Irish people”. In his Blackrock, County Dublin ward, he claimed, 80 per cent of homes were over the tax’s £75,000 threshold.

His earlier litigation over the issue had not succeeded, either in the High Court which ruled against him in November 1983, or the Supreme Court which likewise rejected his appeal the following November.

But he was successful in 1981 in challenging the constitutionality of the Rent Restrictions Act and freeing landlords significantly from the constraints of rent control.

That 1981 Supreme Court decision to declare rent controls unconstitutional has been instrumental in the inequitable wealth transfers from income earners to property owners over decades.

Historic resistance to property taxes, led by Madigan Snr and others, has also maintained these taxes at comparatively low levels, making ‘bricks and mortar’ the favoured investment for the upper middle class, to the enduring difficulty of renters who have contended with spiralling rents in overheated markets ever since.

According to David McWilliams, the richest 5% owns over 40% of national wealth, 85% of which is held in property and land. Last year just €500 million out of total tax receipts of approximately €50 billion, derived from land or property.

It is unclear the extent to which Josepha Madigan plays a direct role in framing the government’s housing policy – which is failing at a fundamental level over ten thousand homeless – but as a member of the cabinet she certainly shares collective responsibility for the government’s position.

The government’s entrenched sympathy with landlordism was set out by Eoghan Murphy in a speech to the Dáil last December:

“We have to be very careful in interfering more than we are at the moment. We have to make sure that we are not placing extra burdens on these small landlords.

And we have to make sure that we are not prohibiting someone from selling a property that they own when they might need to sell that property for perfectly legitimate reasons in their own lives.

They may not have the money to re-compensate the person living in the property at that point.”

Naturally, Josepha Madigan cannot be held responsible for her father’s historic role in preserving a virtually free hand for land owners, including the owners of multiple properties over decades, but her political career suggests a similar ideological resistance to interfering with property rights.

This would appear to extending to ensure that persons who might lower the price of property in a given neighbourhood are excluded.

In the 2016 General Election she successfully unseated her Fine Gael colleague – and long-time foe of Leo Varadkar – the former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, to become one of only three TDs for the new Dublin-Rathdown constituency.

Prior to this, as a Fine Gael councillor, Madigan had campaigned to deny Travellers accommodation in her ward.

Thus, the first paragraph of a 2014 leaflet issued in her name described a proposal to build Traveller accommodation on Mount Anville Hill and elsewhere, close to her constituency base, as ‘very concerning for those living in the area.’

Later paragraphs go on to claim the purchase would be a waste of money, advocating a cost-benefit analysis, and making vague reference to NAMA properties offering alternative sites.

Despite her denials, the document reveals Madigan as saying the presence of Travellers in the neighbourhood would, in and of itself, be “very concerning”, for reasons we all know but are unwilling to say, and which really have nothing to do with the cost to the council of the accommodation

Her Populist strategy may have been informed by the success of another former Fine Gael TD for the area, Olivia Mitchell, who, according to Victoria White, ‘made a career out of opposing Traveller accommodation.’

On October 10th 2015, a blaze swept through a halting site at nearby Carrickmines, in south Dublin causing eleven fatalities. It was the country’s worst such disaster since the Stardust fire in 1981.

In its wake, local residents from another south Dublin estate delayed construction on a temporary halting site earmarked to house the fifteen adult and children survivors of the inferno.

This led then Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly to comment: ‘It says an awful lot about Irish society and in a very disturbing way’. Politicians cannot be held responsible for all such attitudes, but they may legitimate their expression.

Kitty Holland described the state of Traveller accommodation around Dublin at the time:

‘On some sites, only one cold tap services eight or nine families; on another, 20 people share one toilet. Some sites are infested with rats, with children prone to infection, skin rashes and respiratory conditions.’

After a cabinet reshuffle in the wake of the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald as Minister for Justice in November, 2017, Josepha Madigan was appointed Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

In response Martin Collins, of the Traveller organisation Pavee Point commented: ‘Of course we would be concerned given her comments on Traveller halting sites a couple of years ago.’

Fairly or otherwise, Travellers are often depicted as a menace to settled communities, but the State recognises their separate ethnic identity and is committed to vindicating that nomadic existence.

The resistance of local councils to building suitable halting sites over decades, at the behest of numerous politicians, has brought squalid conditions that may explain anti-social behaviour, and brought the prospect of disasters such as Carrickmines.

The absurd Maria Bailey case is mostly a distraction from the ongoing negligence of this government, but it at least allow us to discuss the dynasties that operate at the heart of our political system, dominated by two, increasingly undifferentiated, parties.

Previously: Eamonn Kelly: Not Far from The Tree

This morning.

National Library, Dublin 2

Freeman of Dublin Bob Geldof and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan (top) as the Band Aid Trust hands over their archive to the National Library of Ireland’s  Dr. Sandra Collins and Paul Shovlin (above).

Is he upset?

Are we grateful enough?

You ask him

We may never know.

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

From top:  Josepha Madigan, TD Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht; Grace Dyas

Dear Josepha,

I am writing to you to tell you who I am.

With my work with THEATREclub, I have built an artistic practice on speaking truth to power. It has taken me to methadone clinics across the country; to dig physical and metaphorical holes in city council land; to live with the people of Moyross in Limerick City; and to sit and listen to hundreds of people who feel oppressed, let down, and abandoned over the last ten years.

I’ll admit this to you, Josepha, it’s been easier for me to stand up for other people than to stand up for myself.

My blog post about my experience with Michael Colgan was the first time in my life that I or publicly shared my own experience. I was supported by many, but many felt I didn’t have the right to bear witness to my own experience. They worried about the use of social media and they felt I should have followed ‘due process’. I know you’re worried about that too. Let’s talk about that:-

This experience with Michael Colgan had something in common with most of the abuse that I have experienced in my life. It happened to me out in the open in front of people. It was witnessed, and nobody did anything to help me. There was nowhere I could go to help myself. There was no due process in place.

I used social media because I had nowhere else to go. I believed that once this abuse of power was exposed and out in the open, we as a community could figure out how to respond, and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I trusted that due process would be restored, and there would be somewhere to go for other survivors who came after me.

That didn’t happen, and here’s what did: –

Eleven women in total have spoken publicly about Michael Colgan’s abuse of power.

Michael Colgan got to write his own verdict in the Sunday Independent and The Gate Theatre has assumed the right to investigate themselves. Crucially, Josepha, the decision as to how much of The Gate Theatre’s report is made public is entirely up to those who would have a vested interest in keeping it buried.

People are writing to me, daily, because I am now the only place they can go.

Inspired by my post, Adrienne Corless has also named people, in her account of her experiences of Abuse Of Power at The National Museum, where she was sexually harassed by Andy Halpin. As an employee, she had access to due process, which she promptly followed, and it failed her. Her abuse was witnessed. She was one who had to leave.

There is a crisis in your new portfolio.

People are suffering.

Their abuse is an open secret.

No one is stepping in to help.

I feel I cannot stand idly by.

So, I am offering anyone who has experienced abuse of power, in the form of sexual harassment, bullying, or corruption, a platform to expose these open secrets by publishing on my blog: with the help of Legal and Therapeutic professionals.

I believe we need to keep digging and keep exposing the reality of what is happening in our country. I had hoped there would be a better way. I hoped someone else would step in. But if the past month has taught me anything, it’s that I can’t trust the people in authority to not sit back, do nothing, and watch as people are abused in front of them.

(To any of those suffering reading this, please get in touch with me.

I believe you before you open your mouth. )

I am doing this because this is who I am, Josepha.

My question is who are you?

Tell me, what are you going to do?

Open Letter to Josepha Madigan, TD Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (Grace Dyas)

Previously: Barbarian At The Gate

Oh, Josepha.

Previously: The Traveller Card


In March of this year.

Travellers were officially recognised as a minority ethnic group in Ireland.

Artist Paul D’Arcy has designed a Traveller ethnicity pin featuring a wagon wheel and the harp.

Pavee Point writes:

“This week-end we celebrate the first International Human Rights Day with Irish Travellers officially recognised as a minority ethnic group by the Irish State.  We will be posting photos and messages on Facebook and Twitter of people wearing the Traveller ethnicity pin.”

From top: President Michael D Higgins and Sabina Higgins; Education Minister Richard Bruton; Irish Solidarity–People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger; Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Dublin Reece Smyth; Ireland soccer player Cyrus Christie with Thomas Collins; Bridgie Nevin, Goretti Horgan and Eamonn McCann; Anne Marie McDonagh; Kathleen Sherlock; and Breda Quilligan.

Pics: Pavee Point

This morning

Arbour Hill Boxing Club, Dublin 7.

Harlow Kearney sparring with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD as Gold Medalist Michael Carruth and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD look on,

The bout was staged to announce allocations of €56 million to sports clubs and organisations located throughout the country.



That’s gotta hurt.