Tag Archives: Kenny

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This morning.

Herb Street Cafe, Hanover Quay, Grand Canal Dock

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton share a pot of tea and a final shared photocall of General Election 2016.

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

Meanwhile

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Earlier.

Páraic Gallagher tweetz:

Taoiseach meets homeless man on his final canvass of #GE16 in Athlone #RealityCheck

 

Previously: Help Is On Its Way

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Why can’t Enda Kenny, Alan Shatter, Martin Callinan, Brian Purcell and any other person appointed to or holding public office appear before a Dáil committee to answer in public reasonable questions put by the people’s elected representatives on matters of public interest in connection with how they discharged their duties?
It is ludicrous for Enda Kenny to refuse to answer a question where he has a specific and definite involvement because he has appointed a judge to ask him that question at some time in the future. – Yours, etc,

Hugh Pierce
Newtown Road,
Celbridge ,
Co Kildare.

Irish Times Letters

Photocall Ireland

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A  section of Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s diary – released to Sinn Fein under the Freedom of Information Act – which suggests that Mr Kenny met or was supposed to have met Justice Minister Alan Shatter on the morning of Sunday, March 23.

March 23 was the day Attorney General Máire Whelan told Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the practice of recording incoming and outgoing Garda station phone calls. Justice Minister Alan Shatter was supposed to have been told of the practice, and the Ian Bailey tapes, the following day, on March 24. The then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan resigned on March 25.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach has since said there was an error in the diary released to Sinn Fein and that no such meeting between Mr Kenny and Mr Shatter took place on March 23.

In the Dail earlier this afternoon:

Mary Lou McDonald: “Today, we will commence statements on the report by Mr. Guerin. However, I wish to step back a couple of weeks to revisit the account of events given by An Taoiseach in respect of his knowledge of the revelations of the practice of taping phone calls to and from Garda stations. Those matters are the subject of a separate commission of investigation led by Mr. Justice Fennelly.”

“An Taoiseach has stated on the public record that he was first informed of the taping practice on Sunday evening, 23 March, when during a phone conversation with the Attorney General on an unrelated matter, she raised the issue. The Taoiseach then said that on Monday 24 March he met the Minister for Justice and Equality and Brian Purcell, Secretary General at the Department of Justice and Equality, and that he asked Mr. Purcell to go to see the Garda Commissioner at his home. We all know that this meeting resulted directly in the subsequent resignation of the Garda Commissioner.”

“It strikes me that the Tánaiste was left out of the loop in that sequence of events, and that was confirmed again by the subsequent developments around the resignation of the former Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Shatter. I will say no more about that.”

“I have obtained, through a freedom of information request, the Taoiseach’s diary from the week in question. It does indeed refer to a meeting or conversation with the Attorney General on Sunday evening, 23 March, at 5.30 p.m. to be precise. However, it also contains a reference to an earlier meeting on that Sunday and it reflects that at 7.30 a.m. the Taoiseach met the Minister for Justice and Equality and his officials. The Taoiseach has made no reference whatsoever to that meeting in his public account of the events or in his account to the Dáil.”

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett: “Could the Deputy ask a question please?”

McDonald: “A number of questions arise. Was the Tánaiste aware of the meeting? Did the Taoiseach inform him of it? Could he tell us which officials from the Department of Justice and Equality were present at the meeting? Was Brian Purcell there? Could he tell us what was discussed at the meeting? Was the taping of phone calls to and from Garda stations discussed? Was the fate of the Garda Commissioner discussed? Might that explain the marked reluctance of Brian Purcell to deal with the matter before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality?”

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: “It seems to me that they are all questions Deputy McDonald should usefully put to the Taoiseach. I do not keep the Taoiseach’s diary. I do not know what meetings he did or did not have on Sunday 23 March. With the greatest respect, Deputy McDonald should ask him directly about those issues.”

Hmmm.

SF claims Kenny knew earlier about Garda phone taping (Irish Times)

Previously: Thin Blue Line Updated

Pic via Michael Brennan

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

MartinnLast night, during a Dáil debate on a recent EU summit, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin gave a speech in which he took issue with Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s reaction to the Anglo Tapes story.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Martin said:

“The Taoiseach has repeatedly said he knows nothing about what happened when the Bank Guarantee was brought in. He says he would “love to know” what happened. If we put aside the lengthy statements and interviews, including in this House, this claim of the Taoiseach’s is transparent, partisan nonsense.”

“For two and a half years he and his ministers have been in full control of government. They have had absolute access to the many records of events, particularly those contained in all of the documents retained in the Department of Finance. More importantly they have had access to the officials who were present at all stages of the Guarantee process.

Minister Noonan has actually refused to release some information under FOI so Taoiseach you cannot have it both ways.”

In the Taoiseach’s case, for an entire year he had at his side the most senior official present during that night. Is the Taoiseach expecting us to believe he never asked him any question about the meetings he attended?

“The next most senior official who was in the room that night also worked closely with this government for well over a year.

He regularly attended the Economic Management Council with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Noonan and Minister Howlin at which bank-related debts were discussed. Did you ask him no questions during that time?”

Hmmm.

Read full speech here

Previously: Off The Hook?

The ‘Missing’ €3.6billion: Five Months Later 

It’s Kevin’s Last Day Today

Nothing In The Diary

Pic: Merrionstreet.ie video screengrab

WallaceIndependent TD Mick Wallace, above, spoke to Pat Kenny earlier this morning about claims made by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that Mr Wallace had been on his mobile phone when he was stopped and advised by Gardaí that he could receive a fixed ticket charge and penalty points, before being warned not to do it again.

Mr Wallace told Mr Kenny he was shocked and thrown by the claims.

He said he genuinely couldn’t recall the incident and even thought Mr Shatter had made it up.

He said he then got a text from a journalist on Saturday, in which he was asked:

“Were you stopped and warned at the Five Lamps on the North Circular Road?”

He told Pat he then did eventually recall an incident involving the Gardai but he was neither stopped nor warned:

Mick Wallace: “I was parked at the lights and a Garda vehicle came up beside me. And I was on the phone…which I know, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been on it. The guard..I rolled down the window, the guard rolled down his window. There was two guards there. And I said ‘oh’, I just had my hand up and they said ‘it’s OK’. And, left it at that. And we just, we made small talk after for maybe about 15/20 seconds and the lights went green and I drove on straight and they pulled out. The guards were friendly.”

Pat Kenny: “And did you apologise to them at the time, when you rolled down the windows ‘sorry, guard, I’m on the phone here.”

Wallace: “Yes, I would have done, I stopped being on the phone and I said ‘look, sorry guard’. And they said ‘it’s OK’. And we went on to talk about something else.”

Alan Shatter is to speak – possibly creepily – about all of this at midday.

More as we get it.

Listen here.

Previously: How Did He Know?

Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

KennyRabbitteIn 2009, when in Opposition, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Labour’s Pat Rabbitte were very concerned about the immunity granted to drug dealer Kieran Boylan.

This is what Pat Rabbitte had to say in the Dáil to then Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, of Fianna Fáil.

“I am particularly concerned at the recent case involving the alleged drug dealer and Garda informant, Mr. Kieran Boylan, which should be vigorously and efficiently investigated and, if appropriate, matters should be referred to the appropriate authorities. I understand that the commission is engaged in a public interest inquiry in this matter, but there needs to be a timeframe and the report needs to be advanced urgently.

“It is not lightly that I mention the name of any citizen in this House. It has been alleged that Mr. Boylan, a drug trafficker, had a relationship with the Garda that facilitated collusion and resulted in Boylan being shielded from drugs charges by a small group of gardaí in this city. It is alleged that while working with the Garda, Mr. Boylan was trafficking drugs into this jurisdiction with the knowledge of certain members of the Garda who appear to have turned a blind eye and did all in their power to keep him out of prison.

“Questions must be answered in respect of why charges against Mr. Boylan for importing heroin and cocaine worth an estimated €1.7 million, seized at a truckers’ yard in Ardee, County Louth in the Minister’s constituency in October 2005, were dropped and a nolle prosequi entered. It is alleged the reason is that Mr. Boylan threatened to reveal details of his relationship with members of the force, which would cause embarrassment. Moreover, it has been reported that when people discovered drugs on Mr. Boylan’s premises in 2004 and reported the matter to the Garda in confidence, they were subsequently threatened by Mr. Boylan and his associates, and the Garda appears to have failed to act on the information in an appropriate or any manner at all.

“The breach of trust that would result in a confidential report to the Garda by members of the public being ignored and then the person complained about being told about it and threatening those who were carrying out their civic duties is a gross breach of trust and must be investigated. Internal Garda inquiries are no longer satisfactory in matters as serious as that involving Mr. Kieran Boylan. It is essential that the commission carries out this investigation with great care and efficiency but within a specific and definite timeframe. Nothing less is required at this delicate moment in the history of the Garda Síochána.”

While Kenny also aired his grievances in an Irish Examiner article at the time:

“Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the licence issued in September to Boylan, despite numerous “Good Repute” checks, contradicted national policy against drug crime. With respect to allegations of a Garda cover-up, he said, given the information in the public domain Mr Dempsey (then Transport Minister Noel Dempsey) should revoke Boylan’s licence.”

 

Garda Ombudsman to publish Boylan Report in weeks (Cormac O’Keeffe, Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner)

Earlier: “Black Ops Being Run Off The Books”

Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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MartinDail

Taoiseach Enda Kenny responds to questions concerning that Michael Lowry phone call from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil minutes ago..

Enda Kenny: “The transcript that was handed in. I agree with you. If any further information is of relevance well that should be forwarded to the appropriate authorities aswell. Whether there’s validity or veracity in all of what was contained in the transcript, that’s not for me to judge. This house set up the Moriarty Tribunal to deal with a number of specific issues. And, as you’re aware, once the tribunal is set up, the house has no further function in determining the outcome of the tribunal, which in this case was reported by Moriarty two years ago.”

Micheál Martin: “Taoiseach, no-one has denied the veracity of the transcript. Nobody. So it seems to me, the transcript stands as a bona fide conversation between Mr Lowry and between Mr Kevin Phelan. I’ve already referred to the documentation that Senator David Wilson received, which details over 60 meetings that occurred between Deputy Lowry and Mr Phelan, in relation to the Doncaster deal, or another, sorry, in relation to the Doncaster deal. But it’s not for us to judge those, that particular documentation.
But suffice to say, Taoiseach, but that there’s enough new material there for this house to revisit the issue. The tribunal was established by way of motion to the house, from the then government, on subject to amendments from across the house. You know what I’m saying, when I ask you would you facilitate a re-examination of this by Moriarty.
Will you bring a motion to the house on this specific issue? Because does it not concern you, Taoiseach? And it does concern me. And you made comments about others, and they may be valid but what’s before us now, Taoiseach, what’s before us now, is material that’s emerged in the public domain, which, at the very minimum casts doubt about the level of cooperation that was afforded to the tribunal, that casts doubt over the truthfulness of the evidence that was provided to the tribunal. And it is material that the chairman did not see, prior to him coming to his conclusions.
Does that not concern you? That a tribunal established by the Oireachtas may have been fatally undermined? May be hindered? That people were having discussion in advance about people who knew was giving evidence, who wasn’t giving evidence, who wouldn’t be turning up, who would be turning up, what they would be saying. I mean these are very fundamental issues that go to the heart of what we should be involved in, in this chamber, and in this Oireachtas. And it is..you have a huge majority here, I’ve no doubt you’d have the full cooperation…”

Ceann Comhairle: “Question please, Deputy.”

Martin: “And the very basic question is will you bring a motion to the house to invite the chairman of the tribunal to examine the new material that has come into the public domain and to re-examine this particular issue?”

Kenny: “Well, I have no intention of reopening the Moriarty Tribunal or any other tribunal that is reported to the house. I’m not sure whether you’re…I didn’t realise that you seem to be amnesiac in some respects here. Because there were other claims made at other tribunals about the extent of information and knowledge of veracity over what was given at the tribunals. Obviously when somebody goes before a tribunal, they take an oath to tell the truth. Now, if there is information out there, that somebody has access to, well then I would suggest that they would bring that information to the appropriate authorities, Deputy Martin.”

Previously: “Denis, Myself, Baldy.”

Dear Mr Lowry, Please Answer The Following (Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner)

 

A tearful Enda Kenny in the Dáil, in the last few minutes:

“This is a national shame.”

Pic: RTÉ

His speech, which can be watched here, in full below:

“I begin today’s debate by thanking Dr Martin McAleese and his team for their excellent work on this report.

I thank equally all the women who met with them to assist in its compilation. I also thank the religious orders who cooperated fully with Dr. McAleese.

Together they have helped provide Ireland with a document of truth.

The Magdalene laundries have cast a long shadow over Irish life over our sense of who we are.

It’s just two weeks since we received this report: the first-ever detailed Report into the State’s involvement in the Magdalene Laundries.

It shines a bright and necessary light on a dark chapter of Ireland’s history.

On coming to office the Government was determined to investigate the facts of the State’s involvement.

The government was adamant that these ageing and elderly women would get the compassion and the recognition for which they have fought for so long deserved so deeply and had, until now, been so abjectly denied.

The reality is that for 90 years Ireland subjected these women and their experience to a profound and studied indifference.

“I was determined because of this that this Government – this Dáil – would take the necessary time not just to commission the Report but to actually study it and having done so to reflect on its findings.

I believe that was the best way to formulate a plan and strategy that would help us make amends for the State’s role in the hurt of these extraordinary women.

I’m glad that so many of the women themselves agreed with that approach.

And I’m glad that this time of reflection gave me the chance to do the most important thing of all: to meet personally with the Magdalene Women. To sit down with them, face to face, to listen to their stories.

It was a humbling and inspiring experience.

“Today, as their Taoiseach, I am privileged to welcome some of these women to this House many of whom have travelled long distances to be here.

I warmly welcome you every one of you to your national parliament, to Dail Eireann.

What we discuss today is your story. What we address today is how you took this country’s terrible ‘secret’ and made it your own. Burying it carrying it in your hearts here at home, or with you to England and to Canada America and Australia on behalf of Ireland and the Irish people.

“But from this moment on you need carry it no more. Because today we take it back. Today we acknowledge the role of the State in your ordeal.

We now know that the State itself was directly involved in over a quarter of all admissions to the Magdalene Laundries.

Be it through the social services reformatories psychiatric institutions county homes the prison and probation service and industrial schools.

“In fact we have decided to include all the Magdalene women in our response regardless of how they were admitted.

Dr McAleese set out to investigate five areas in particular;

1: The routes by which the women entered the laundries
2: Regulations of the workplace and State inspections
3: State funding of and financial assistance to the laundries
4: The routes by which the girls and women left the laundries
5: Death registrations, burials and exhumations

In all five areas there was found to be direct State involvement.

“As I read this Report and as I listened to these women, it struck me that for generations Ireland had created a particular portrait of itself as a good living God-fearing nation.

Through this and other reports we know this flattering self-portrait to be fictitious.

It would be easy to explain away all that happened – all we did in those great moral and social salves of ‘the culture back then’ = the ‘order of the day’, ‘the terrible times that were in it’.

“Yes, by any standards it was a cruel, pitiless Ireland distinctly lacking in a quality of mercy. That much is clear, both from the ages of the Report, and from the stories of the women I met.

As I sat with these women as they told their stories it was clear that while every woman’s story was different each of them shared a particular experience of a particular Ireland judgemental intolerant petty and prim.

In the laundries themselves some women spent weeks others months more of them years. But the thread that ran through their many stories was a palpable sense of suffocation not just physical in that they were incarcerated but psychological .spiritual social. Their stories were enriched by an astonishing vividness of recall of situation and circumstance.

“Here are some of the things I read in the report and they said directly to me:

“The work was so hard, the regime was cruel.”
“I felt all alone, nobody wanted me.”
“They sent me because they thought I was going to a good school.”
“I seen these older people beside me, I used cry myself to sleep.”
“I was bold, I wasn’t going to school.”
“I was locked up I thought I would never get out.”
“We had to sew at night even when we were sick.”
“I heard a radio sometimes in the distance.”
“We were not allowed to talk to each other.”
“Your letters were checked.”
“I was so short I needed a stool to put washing in.”
“The noise was desperate.”
“I thought I would go mad from the silence.”
“The heat was unbelievable.”
“I broke a cup once and had to wear it hanging around my neck for three days.”
“I felt always tired always wet .always humiliated.”
“My father came for me after three months but I was too ashamed to go home.”
“I never saw my Mam again she died while I was in there.”

“The Magdalene Women might have been told that they were washing away a wrong or a sin but we know now and to our shame they were only ever scrubbing away our nation’s shadow.

Today, just as the State accepts its direct involvement in the Magdalene Laundries society too has its responsibility.

I believe I speak for millions of Irish people all over the world when I say we put away these women because .for too many years we put away our conscience.

We swapped our personal scruples for a solid public apparatus that kept us in tune and in step with a sense of what was ‘proper behaviour’ or the ‘appropriate view’ according to a sort of moral code that was fostered at the time particularly in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

“We lived with the damaging idea that what was desirable and acceptable in the eyes of the Church and the State was the same and interchangeable.

Is it this mindset then this moral subservience that gave us the social mores the required and exclusive ‘values’ of the time that welcomed the compliant, obedient and lucky ‘us’ and banished the more problematic, spirited or unlucky ‘them’?

And to our nation’s shame it must be said that if these women had managed to scale the high walls of the laundries they’d have had their work cut out for them to negotiate the height and the depth of the barricades around society’s ‘proper’ heart. For we saw difference as something to be feared and hidden rather than embraced and celebrated.

“But were these our ‘values’?

Because we can ask ourselves for a State – least of all a republic.
What is the ‘value’ of the tacit and unchallenged decree that saw society humiliate and degrade these girls and women?”

What is the ‘value’ of the ignorance and arrogance that saw us publicly call them ‘Penitents’ for their ‘crime’ of being poor or abused or just plain unlucky enough to be already the inmate of a reformatory, or an industrial school or a psychiatric institution?

We can ask ourselves as the families we were then what was worthy what was good about that great euphemism of ‘putting away’ our daughters our sisters our aunties ?

Those ‘values’ those failures those wrongs characterised Magdalene Ireland.

“Today we live in a very different Ireland with a very a different consciousness awareness – an Ireland where we have more compassion empathy insight heart.

We do because at last we are learning those terrible lessons. We do because at last we are giving up our secrets.

We do because in naming and addressing the wrong, as is happening here today, we are trying to make sure we quarantine such abject behaviour in our past and eradicate it from Ireland’s present and Ireland’s future.

“In a society guided by the principles of compassion and social justice there never would have been any need for institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries.

The Report shows that the perception that the Magdalene Laundries were reserved for what were offensively and judgementally called “fallen women” is not based upon fact at all but upon prejudice. The women are and always were wholly blameless.

Therefore, I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the State, the government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry. Continue reading