On Wednesday 5 November last, during a discussion on the RTE current affairs programme Late Debate, Labour Senator John Whelan stated that Bord Gais had made their pitch to establish Irish Water under false pretences.

The presenter of the show immediately distanced RTE from the allegations made by Senator Whelan. RTE felt the allegations were so serious that an editorial decision was taken to delete the relevant section from the podcast of the programme.

On today’s Morning Ireland the mother of Paul Quinn, who was brutally murdered in 2007, alleged that Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy knows who murdered her son. The presenter of the show immediately distanced RTE from the allegations made by Mrs. Quinn.

Then, at the end of the show the following message was broadcast:

We (RTE) just want to make it clear that she (Mrs. Quinn) was speaking in a personal capacity and Morning Ireland does not in any way endorse her views.

The allegation made by Mrs. Quinn are infinitely more serious than those made by Senator Whelan.

It will be interesting therefore to see if her allegations are censored in the same manner.

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Fine Gael TD (and political coward) Eoghan Murphy is continuing his crusade to reform Irish politics before the evil ones in Sinn Fein and other ‘lefties’ seize power and destroy the great civilisation so labourisly built up, brick by democratic brick, by Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour over the decades.

Speaking on the Today with Sean O’Rourke Murphy, a serious competitor to Leo Varadkar for political Messiah of the decade, repeated his call for political reform.

The Irish Water debacle represents a failure of the political system, we’ve got to hold the Government to account, we’ve got to get rid of the Economic Management Council (EMC).

And then…and then…he said something profound….wait for it…wait for it.

We have to stop making these mistakes because we have a history of making bad mistakes in our political system because the system is the way it is.

I swooned at the sheer depth, the sheer insight of this young visionary.

Why oh why, I cried, did none of our past Great Leaders, who built our magnificent democracy with their bare hands, without an expense sheet in sight, not possess the wisdom of this Messiah?

But there was more…much more.

Just yesterday, said the brave Eoghan, I was talking to the Great Leader himself; the Great Enda and I told him (again) about my blueprint for political reform that I put to paper in 2012.

Go forth young man, said the Great One, go forth and consult with your colleagues and when you have done so, come back to me and we will make history, we will save the people from the evil lefties.

(As the Great Enda turned away he was heard to mutter – Feckin’ eejit).

And then, before I could catch my breath – another flash of wisdom from Murphy.

There’s a desire, particularly among new TDs who aren’t used to the old way of doing things, to give more powers to the Dail.

My God, I screamed – more power for the people’s parliament? Is there no end to this man’s vision?

Ok, he’s not promising full power to parliament, like real democracies, but you can see where he’s going. Some day, perhaps in a few decades, full democracy may reign in the land.

At this stage I was on my knees, praying to the radio. A promise of real democracy albeit at some point in the future, deliverance from the evil lefties.

Free at last, I thought, free at last – Hallelujah.

And then…..a crushing blow when the great reformer was asked:

Do you think your fellow TD Noel Coonan was fair in comparing Left wing politicians with ISIS?

Well, ya know, Noel’s an emotional guy. I think he was trying to express the disappointment we all have when we see parliamentary colleagues like the Murph going out and showing their kind of leadership which is trying to stoke civil unrest, it seems, and to be very unfair towards fellow parliamentarians.

If that’s the Left’s definition of leadership I think it’s a very poor one, it’s not to be welcomed and Noel was trying to speak to that.

Well feck it anyway. One simple question with a simple answer and the Great Messiah couldn’t do it.

The gombeen gene is so deeply ingrained in his political brain that it instantly triggered a reversion to the old way of doing things.

A politically intelligent politician would simply have admitted that Coonan had been a bit over the top and that would have been fine, well, by Irish political standards anyway.

But no, this ‘reforming’ Fine Gael TD was not now, not ever going to criticise one from his own tribe no matter how stupid, insulting or inflammatory his views.

It’s all very well referring to the lefties as a sinister lot, all very well trying to educate the peasants about what’s best for them, all very well preaching democracy, accountability and political reform but criticise a fellow member of the long established ruling class – no way, that’s not going to happen.

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Eoghan Murphy
Fine Gael

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A quote by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern headlines in today’s Sunday Independent.

Gerry Adams saying he was not in the IRA is like me saying I was not in Fianna Fail.

Here’s a better comparison:

Gerry Adams saying he was not in the IRA is like me saying I told the truth at the Mahon Tribunal.

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I see the Irish Times took up my story surrounding the dramatic revelation by Labour Senator John Wilson that Bord Gais had made their pitch to establish Irish Water under false pretences.

Bizarrely, however, the Irish Times took the same line as RTE and, effectively, censored the principal allegation made by Senator Whelan.

Here’ s the exact charge made by the Senator against Bord Gais.

No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gais through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.

Here’s how the Irish Times reported his allegations.

“No, what I’m saying is this: Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water . . . and they haven’t delivered.”

Leaving out the words; ‘under false pretences’ strips the report of any relevance, it effectively kills the story.

So much for the ‘paper of record’.

The Irish Times, in common with many mainstream media outlets, still finds it difficult to credit bloggers and other social media sources with stories.

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During the pro government love-in on the Marian Finucane Show last Sunday Fionnan Sheahan, political editor of ‘Independent’ Newspapers did, like so many other establishment journalists, allow that the great unwashed do have a right to protest.

But, his generous concession to the masses came with a dire warning.

It would be a shame if recent events such as we saw here would tarnish everybody who decides to take to the streets.

The pro government panel all muttered in solemn agreement. And I’m sure I could hear a distant murmur from the listening peasantry recognizing the wisdom and charity of this fine Irish ‘Independent’ journalist.

Somebody said to be recently, the great seer went on:

It takes a lot to get Paddy out on the streets but when he gets out there you can’t get him off again.

The pro government panel all dutifully laughed at the humorous wisdom of this great national philosopher.

I see outside Leinster House on a weekly basis groups of people from all parts of the country coming up taking up their protests and you have to say, more power to them and it’s only right and proper that they be allowed to do that.

This generous and unsought sentiment, I must admit, brought me to the edge of tears – ‘it’s only right and proper that they be allowed to do that.’

My God, I thought, the Irish peasantry is so lucky to have such an enlightened journalist recognise their democratic rights.

And, it must be remembered, this weekly engagement with the peasantry outside Leinster House probably occurs when the journalist is on his way to meet the Great Leader and his hard working fellow politicians as they beaver away protecting the democratic rights of the sadly, ignorant and unappreciative masses.

It’s no easy thing to mix in such exalted circles while at the same time retaining an understanding of the coarser feelings of the common citizenry.

I think our problem here is, you’re seeing fringe elements now attaching themselves to legitimate people.

The pro government panel all murmured in agreement at this warning to the ‘legitimate’ people of Ireland – whoever they are.

And, to be fair to this most unbiased of journalists, he does clearly take ownership of his views when he states ‘I think our problem is.

The ‘our’ he speaks of is, of course, those on the pro government panel, the government and wider body politic (excluding certain sinister elements, naturally) and his bosses at ‘Independent’ Newspapers.

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Panel on Marian Finucane’s Sunday’s show.

Gerard Craughwell, Independent Senator: Generally spoke in opposition of Sinn Fein politics and anti-water chargers protesters.

Stephen Kinsella, Economist: Generally spoke in opposition of Sinn Fein politics and anti-water chargers protesters.

Suzanne Lynch, Irish Times correspondent: Generally spoke in opposition of Sinn Fein politics and anti-water chargers protesters.

John Walshe, former special advisor to Education Minister: Generally spoke in opposition of Sinn Fein politics and anti-water chargers protesters.

Fionnan Sheahan, political editor Independent Newspapers: Generally spoke in opposition of Sinn Fein politics and anti-water chargers protesters.

In addition to the panel Ms. Finucane interviewed:

Katherine Zappone, Independent Senator: Criticised the anti-water charges protesters.

Joan Burton, Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection: Strongly critical of water protesters. Was permitted to ramble on without any serious challenge by a mostly sympathetic Finucane.

Minister Burton even managed to repeat Kenny’s insulting advice to the peasants – To save water; you must turn off the tap when washing your teeth.


RTE is not a national broadcaster; it’s a Government broadcaster.

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During the discussion in which announced to the country that Bord Gais had established Irish Water under false pretences Labour Senator John Whelan said that, as a politician, he would rather be honest than popular.

On his website he is quoted as saying:

I don’t want to be another career politician. I desperately want to do something about the mess we are in.

Another quote on his website goes:

He has regularly been referred to as a courageous and outspoken journalist.

Well, Senator Whelan is no longer courageous and outspoken. He is just another career politician who has opted to be popular with the rotten political system rather than be honest with the Irish people.

I have been trying to contact the senator since he made his very serious allegations without success; he’s in hiding. Neither has he made any public statements, either in the Senate or in public to explain his allegations.

As a public representative Senator Whelan has a duty to either retract his allegations or take action on them. He has done neither.

So, in effect, the Senator has decided to join the ranks of political gombeens who, over the decades, have served their own and their party’s interests at the expense of Ireland and its people.

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Senator Whelan

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On Wednesday 5 November last, during a discussion on the RTE current affairs programme Late Debate, Labour Senator John Whelan stated that Bord Gais had made their pitch to establish Irish Water under false pretences.

RTE decided to censor the comments of Senator Whelan by removing the relevant comments. I believe this was a mistake.

The presenter of the programme, Cormac O’hEadhra, made it crystal clear that RTE was disassociating itself from the comments of Senator Whelan and that, I believe, was more than sufficient to protect the station from legal action.

I believe that by deciding to censor the relevant section RTE was killing a major story that was of crucial importance to the people of Ireland.

Senator Whelan had divulged new, extremely important information and any news agency worth its salt would ensure that that information was broadcast so that people would be properly informed. The importance of the story should have overridden any fear of legal action.

I have managed to obtain a transcript of the relevant section censored by RTE. I have made some small changes for ease of reading and omitted non-relevant dialogue.

Labour Senator John Whelan: It would be the act of supreme political cowardice of me to come here tonight and try and wash my hands of Irish Water and say it’s nothing to do with me as the minister who set it up has done, I think that’s appalling.

Cormac O’hEadhra (Presenter): Did you vote against the Irish Water?

Senator Whelan: No, no, I’m going to say….interrupted.

O’hEadhra: So you voted for it?

strong>Senator Whelan: I’m in favour of water charges and I’m in favour of a water company that provides clean, safe water.

O’hEadhra: Let me clarify this, did you vote for the bill or not?

Senator Whelan: I did but…interrupted.

O’hEadhra: So all of the things you outlined, you voted for?

Senator Whelan: No, no, that’s not true. The thing is, we were misled.

O’hEadhra: By whom?

Senator Whelan: I believe that Bord Gais sold the Government a pup when it said that it had the capacity, the resources, the personnel and the skill set. I argued for it to be awarded to Bord na Mona and that’s on the record.

O’hEadhra: Wait now, you say, you as a parliamentarian, when you voted on the Bill, you were misled?

Senator Whelan: Absolutely, by Bord Gais who tendered for the franchise.

O’hEadhra: And all of your colleagues were misled?

Senator Whelan: I believe we were sold a pup and that’s why…interrupted.

O’hEadhra: Are you saying then that the Government was voting on the Irish Water bill on a false premise?

Senator Whelan: I believe the contract should have been awarded, the record will show, to Bord na Mona. I believe that Bord Gais, and this is why the Government has gone in, Alan Kelly has gone in and stripped it back, the board has to be reconfigured, reconstituted and…interrupted.

O’hEadhra: Wait now, this is very serious John. What you’re saying this evening, surely, does that not render the validity of the Bill, the Act all null and void?

Senator Whelan: No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gais through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.

Non-relevant dialogue.

O’hEadhra: Can I just return to the somewhat dramatic vista that John Whelan has presented us with about the Irish Water Bill saying that Irish parliamentarians were voting on a false premise.

Dearbhaill McDonald (Legal Editor at Irish Independent): Yes, that they were misled. I think sometimes politicians forget that when they’re not in the Seanad or Dail that they don’t have privilege.

If I were a member of that tendering team or a senior member of Bord Gais I might be calling my libel lawyer tonight with a view to responding to the allegation that Bord Gais misled them. I think that is a very, very serious charge from a senior member of government to suggest that Bord Gais misled them.

O’hEadhra: Unless you have evidence to back it up.

Senator Whelan: The evidence is that the thing is a shambles, it doesn’t work.

O’hEadhra: But that’s not good enough, you’re saying they misled.

Senator Whelan: Don’t put words in my mouth, what I’m saying is, they made a tendering pitch saying that they could deliver and they didn’t.

Non-relevant dialogue.

O’hEadhra: Hold on a second. You made a very, very serious allegation.

Senator Whelan: And I stand over it.

O’hEadhra: I am asking, if you do, this programme requires evidence to substantiate that allegation, otherwise you have to withdraw it.

Senator Whelan: No I won’t. Is the evidence not clear to you all around you? Irish Water is not functioning, it’s a shambles, it’s not fit for purpose and that’s why we have to go back in and put things right.

O’hEadhra: John, I’m saying to you that as a programme, we disassociate ourselves from your comments unless you have evidence. You need to present the evidence to substantiate your allegation.

Senator Whelan: I’m going to say to you again that I argued at the time that Bord Na Mona would have been a better fit to establish a water utility.

Non-relevant dialogue.

O’hEadhra: You’re the one making allegations.

Senator Whelan: And I stand over them.

Non-relevant dialogue.

O’hEadhra: Ok, well they’re your allegations, they’re not ours. Obviously we can’t stand over whatever you say, without evidence we can’t even judge it.

Copy to:

RTE Late Debate
Senator Whelan
All political parties

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A major news story broke live on RTE’s Late Debate last Wednesday concerning Irish Water.

Unfortunately, the story suffered a quick death, principally I believe, because of the manner in which it was handled by RTE.

Labour Senator John Whelan claimed that Irish Water had misled the Government over the establishment of the organisation.

The presenter of the show, Cormac O’hEadhra, was astonished by the revelation and questioned the senator closely on his claim.

The senator repeated his claim and said he stood by every word. The presenter, clearly aware of the gravity of the claim, uttered the standard RTE response to protect the station against any possible legal action – RTE distances itself from the claims you are making…etc,etc.

In my opinion the presenter/RTE had no need to take such a precaution.

As a member of the Oireachtas and as a member of a government party Senator Whelan was revealing, for the first time, a very important fact (as he believed) about one of the most contentious issues in recent history. It was a major and completely legitimate news story.

Unfortunately, RTE did not see it that way.

The following morning I accessed the Late Debate website to quote Senator Whelan on this blog. To my surprise, the relevant section of the discussion had been removed by RTE. After a week of trying to obtain an explanation I finally made contact today and was told that.

An editorial decision was taken to take the piece down for all concerned. It was decided that there were potential issues that could exasperate something negative.

In my opinion this is total rubbish. I don’t think RTE censored this particular item to protect Irish Water or the Government although, in effect, that was the outcome.

I think the decision was made out of panic either because of a possible but highly unlikely legal action by Irish Water or, more likely, a fear of political revenge on the broadcaster.

I have a habit of occasionally taping programmes so that I can quote back on this blog. Now, because I’ve lost trust in RTEs judgement particularly when it comes to politicians, I will be taping all RTE current affairs programmes to avoid the censor’s scissors.

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Late Debate
Senator Whelan

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I often wondered why then minister and leader of the Progressive Democrats, Mary Harney, suddenly shut down the Ansbacher investigation in 2004.

Perhaps the following question, put to Enda Kenny by Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald, explains Harney’s decision.

Do you believe Mr. Ryan (the whistleblower) when he says that his investigation that was shut down by Mary Harney when he uncovered names of senior politicians from the Progressive Democrats, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, that they held offshore accounts, revelations that would have been most uncomfortable for the political establishment?

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