Tag Archives: Terry Prone

Yesterday.

Meanwhile…

Also yesterday.

Earlier: “I Didn’t Want The Survivors To Wait More”

Previously: Terry Prone on Broadsheet

From top: Terry Prone; Ivan Yates (right) and Matt Cooper during the Leaders’ Debate on Virgin Media One last night

Further to last night’s immoderate moderation.

How did Ivan Yates develop his lovable telly persona?

Who on Earth could craft such a character?

‘On the day of the [General Election 2007] count, Sean O’Rourke went around the studio asking who would be the outstanding candidate of the election.

…When he went to Terry [Prone], she didn’t hesitate for a second.

“The outstanding winner of the election was Ivan Yates,” she said, “He came out of nowhere, or at least out of being half-remembered and, in a matter of weeks, he became a media star. He should abandon betting and move into media.”

…Terry had already turned me into a newspaper columnist whether I liked it or not. I had done a chapter on Celtic Bookmakers for a book KPMG had produced about entrepreneurs. The Communications Clinic does consultancy and training for KPMG and decided I should talk to Tim Vaughan, editor of the Irish Examiner, about a column. He said ‘Yes’.

In the beginning, I would send my first draft to Terry for her to sub-edit and tidy up but, after a few weeks, she told me I didn’t need her anymore.

…so when Terry ordered me into doing some [television and radio] run throughs [mock interviews], I said ‘Yes, Ma’am’.

…Terry pushed me relentlessly, tolerating no excuses…she had nothing to gain. I kept offering to pay her. She kept telling me to shut up and take notes.

She seemed in charge of basic skills while Anton Savage, managing director of their company, put a useful frame around the programme.

…Our ratings began to climb, I became surer of my radio persona, helped by a note I’d made when Anton had trained me.

‘Don’t set out to be likeable, you’ll be so bland and boring you’ll have nobody listening to you.’

That gave me courage when texts came in saying, ‘Ivan, I now know you are the greatest wanker of all time’.’

Ivan Yates in Full On by Ivan Yates

She had nothing to gain.

Good times.

Earlier: “But, You’re Not Running In The Election?”

Journalist Ken Foxe, former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and PR advisor Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic

Journalist, lecturer, founder of investigative news site Noteworthy and Right To Know Ken Foxe has given his latest update on his attempts to obtain correspondence between the former Minister for Justice and current MEP candidate Frances Fitzgerald and PR advisor with the Communications Clinic Terry Prone between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

Mr Foxe was originally told by the Department of Justice that no such records existed – even though it was already on public record that Ms Fitzgerald paid the Communications Clinic, via a special secretarial allowance, more than €11,000 between the date she became minister [May 8, 2014] and the end of 2016.

The claim also contradicted evidence put before the Disclosures Tribunal last year of written/email communications between Ms Prone and Ms Fitzgerald during the relevant time of Mr Foxe’s request.

Mr Foxe appealed the decision of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Information Commissioner went on to discover 68 such records of correspondence between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

Separately, Mr Foxe has also had a frustrating time securing correspondence between Ms Prone and the former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – whom Ms Prone was also advising between 2014 and 2017.

The Disclosures Tribunal saw how statements or draft speeches were written with the help of Ms Prone by Ms O’Sullivan for Ms Fitzgerald concerning issues about Ms O’Sullivan.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton described this sequence of events worthy of Myles na Gopaleen’s satire.

In his latest update, Mr Foxe explains that the Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall has since told him that the department has told him it has checked mobile devices for phone messages or emails which may have fallen within his FOI request and that the only individuals who may have had such contact with Ms Prone or the Communications Clinic via said phones was Ms Fitzgerald and a “named special adviser”.

Mr Tyndall told Mr Foxe:

“The department stated that its ICT division confirmed that the special adviser’s phone was reset, wiped of data and recirculated to another person in 2017.”

Mr Foxe was also told this is “standard practice when a staff member who has use of an ‘official’ phone leaves the department”.

And he was further informed:

“The department said that a phone that had been used at that time by the former minister was returned to her for checking and that she subsequently advised that no additional records covered by the request were identified on that device.”

Finally, Mr Tyndall told Mr Foxe that he has accepted the department’s account of how it went about securing any records and “its position that no further records were found”.

It added:

I have no reason to dispute the assurances of those involved that they do not hold further records. I accept that the original searches in response to the applicant’s [Mr Foxe] request of 11 March 2017 did not, for reasons explained by the Department, find records that subsequently came to light in its further searches. However, this, of itself, does not entitle me to find that all reasonable steps have not been taken to ascertain the whereabouts of records falling within the scope of the request.”

Mr Foxe writes about his latest update in more detail below…

Previously: “What Is It About Emails Between Terry Prone And Very Important Public Officials?”

‘Records Do In Fact Exist’

Clinical Exposure

Meanwhile…

As reported in last weekend’s Sunday Times...

A job advertisement for the role of “Head of Transparency” at the Department of Justice on publicjobs.ie.

From top: Terry Prone, Frances Fitzgerald and Norin O’Sullivan; an email sent from Ken Foxe to the gardai last year

Last night.

Frustrated Freedom of Information sleuth Ken Foxe posed the following question on Twitter about his attempts to secure emails between Terry Prone of the Communications Clinic and the former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan under the FOI Act:

“What is it about emails between Terry Prone and very important public officials that makes them so difficult to find?”

A series of emails between the pair were put into evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal last year.

And yet.

Mr Foxe cannot secure these under FOI.

Last year Mr Foxe revealed that the Office of the Information Commissioner had discovered 68 records of correspondence between former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Ms Prone between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

These were records which the Department of Justice previously said never existed.

Last night, Mr Foxe went on to explain his journey to date…

From 2014 to 2017, Ms Prone wasn’t only advising Ms Fitzgerald. She was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

As Ms Fitzgerald was the Justice Minister at the time, Ms O’Sullivan was, on paper, answerable to Ms Fitzgerald.

The Disclosures Tribunal saw how statements or draft speeches were written with the help of Ms Prone by Ms O’Sullivan for Ms Fitzgerald concerning issues about Ms O’Sullivan.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton described this sequence of events worthy of Myles na Gopaleen’s satire.

Previously: Frances, Nóirín and Tess

Journalist Ken Foxe, former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic

Journalist, Dublin Institute of Technology lecturer and Right To Know director Ken Foxe previously unearthed, via requests under the Freedom of Information Act, correspondence between Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic, and the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and/or her officials, during Ms Fitzgerald’s time as minister.

Mr Foxe sought the correspondence between Ms Prone and Ms Fitzgerald between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

During this period of time, Ms Prone was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Mr Foxe had initially been told there were no such records.

After appealing the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner, the OIC discovered there were 68 such records.

The Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall subsequently asked the Department of Justice to ask Ms Fitzgerald to check her personal email accounts for any other records.

The Department of Justice later informed Mr Foxe there were more than 190 such records.

Further to this…

On Sunday, Mr Foxe released further documents obtained under FOI which show that the Department of Justice was considering going to the High Court – over the request to ask Ms Ftizgerald to check her private email for correspondence with Ms Prone.

They also show that Ms Fitzgerald said some of the records found in her personal email related to internal Fine Gael business and were “confidential and commercially sensitive”.

And they show how the current Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan was kept up to date on the developments regarding Mr Foxe’s FOI request.

And how the Department of Justice planned on issuing a profuse and thorough apology to Mr Foxe but, in the end, sent him  a much watered-down version.

Previously: Clinical Exposure

From top: Justice Peter Charleton ; PR boss Terry Prone, who, it emerged during the Disclosure tribunal, had been advising both Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

This afternoon.

From the Disclosures Tribunal report.

Justice Peter Charelton writes:

One other matter is worthy of comment. A close reading of the chronology will indicate the extent to which a public controversy began to grow in florid form following on the deception of the media by the persons who leaked selected extracts from the O’Higgins Commission transcript.

This led to a flurry of emails, memoranda, communications at high level, drafts, counter drafts and final drafts about the Garda Commissioner’s approach to those who point out irregularities within our police force.

The tribunal is far from impressed by any of this.

It seems that our public life is now to be dominated by spin and that plain speaking is elided in favour of meaningless public relations speak.

This is a hideous development in Irish public life.

We have been brought to a situation where those who genuinely know their job are expected to put things in a form which no longer garners respect and which is far from the requirement of plain speaking.

It is frankly bizarre that when the Garda Commissioner is asked about her approach to a matter of serious public importance, she is not left alone to answer from her own mind.

But instead that comments and suggestions amounting to drafts of letters of several thousand words are whizzed over in her direction so that she can send the same thing back again.

The public are then expected to digest this as being her utterance.

The tribunal found this practice unworthy of our public service. It adds to the sense of public distrust in the key institutions of the State.

Public service is not about public relations.

Plain speaking by those who know what they are talking about is the only acceptable way to address the Irish people.”

Earlier: Justice Charelton on…

Previously: Frances Noirin And Tess

Rollingnews

From top: yesterday’s Irish Mail on Sunday; Former justice minister Frances Fitzgerald (left); Terry Prone

Yesterday.

In the Irish Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Times.

Dublin Institute of Technology lecturer, journalist and FOI sleuth Ken Foxe reported on the cache of correspondence he received from the Department of Justice – between Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic, and the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and/or her officials, during her time as minister.

Mr Foxe sought the correspondence between Ms Prone, who signed off as ‘Tess’ in correspondence, and Ms Fitzgerald between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

During this period of time, Ms Prone was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Mr Foxe had initially been told there were no such records.

After appealing the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner, the OIC discovered there were 68 such records.

And then the Department of Justice informed Mr Foxe there were more than 190 such records.

In a thread last night, Mr Foxe tweeted…

‘Wag finger here’: how PR guru Terry Prone guided Frances Fitzgerald (Ken Foxe, Sunday Times)

Last Thursday, Ken Foxe was a special guest Broadsheet on the Telly and shared his knowledge of the Freedom of Information process in Ireland. Watch back here.

Previously: Francis, Nóirín and Tess

From 0 To 68 To 190-Plus

Former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald; Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic

Last night.

Journalist, director with Right To Know and Dublin Institute of Technology lecturer Ken Foxe tweeted that he had received word back from the Department of Justice yesterday.

This follows his attempts to obtain records of correspondence between the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and PR advisor Terry Prone between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017 – a time when Ms Prone was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Mr Foxe had initially been told there were no such records.

After appealing the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner, the OIC discovered 68 such records of correspondence.

Last night, Mr Foxe said the Department of Justice informed him there were more than 190 such records.

He has yet to receive the documents.

But last night, Mr Foxe explained:

Previously: Frances, Nóirín and Tess

From top (Clockwise) Terry Prone, former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan; a reply from the Department of Justice to journalist Ken Foxe

Under the Freedom of Information Act, journalist Ken Foxe has been attempting to obtain emails between the former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic, while Ms Fitzgerald was minister between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

From 2014 to 2017, Ms Prone wasn’t only advising Ms Fitzgerald. She was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

As Ms Fitzgerald was the Justice Minister at the time, Ms O’Sullivan was, on paper, answerable to Ms Fitzgerald.

Mr Foxe was originally told there were no records of correspondence between Ms Prone and Ms Fitzgerald but, after appealing that decision, he was informed by the Office of the Information Commissioner last month that there were 68 such records.

Further to the OIC’s decision, Mr Foxe has since been sent an update from the Department of Justice (above).

Yesterday evening, Mr Foxe tweeted:

Those notorious ‘non-existent’ emails between former justice minister Frances Fitzgerald and PR guru Terry Prone will be released (or perhaps not depending on the decision) next Monday.

Previously: Frances, Nóirín and Tess

…starring Terry Prone.

Sigh.

Economist David McWilliams’ new documentary on Ireland’s economy.

On TV3 Virgin Media One at 10pm.

Previously: Terry Prone on Broadsheet