Mass cards and avoiding a ten year jail sentence

It is now six years since it became a criminal offence to sell a Mass card without the permission of a Catholic bishop.

It is also six years since I first applied to the bishop of Cloyne for permission to sell Mass cards. Over the years I have received various reasons why permission was not forthcoming.

The last letter I received from the bishop, in March 2014, gave me permission, sort of, to sell unsigned Mass cards. This, however, is wholly unacceptable as I make clear in my reply to the bishop.


29 July 2015

Dear Bishop Crean,

Thank you for your letter dated 24 March 2014.

Since receiving your letter I have been engaged in research and negotiations in preparation for the launch of my business project – the selling of signed and unsigned Mass cards.

I am now at a point where it is impossible for me to proceed without your express permission as required under Section 99 of the Charities Act, 2009.

In your letter dated 24 March 2014 you express the following understanding regarding the selling of unsigned Mass cards:

It is my understanding that the relevant section of the Charities Act refers to the sale of Mass cards which at the time of sale already bear the signature of a priest and thus indicate that a Mass will be offered for a specific intention.

The Bishop has no role in the sale of Mass cards which are unsigned at the time of sale.

If I was confident in your interpretation of the relevant section I would consider proceeding immedately with the sale of unsigned Mass cards.

However, I believe your interpretation is flawed. The relevant section makes no mention of specifically allowing the sale of Mass cards bearing the signature of a priest at the point of sale.

The relevant section makes no mention of, and therefore no distinction between, signed and unsigned Mass cards. It would therefore be very unwise of me to engage in the selling of unsigned Mass cards without your specific permission.

I have consulted with a legal expert on the issue and he is in agreement with my conclusion.

You will understand that I must be very careful in my actions at this point as the punishment for the illegal sale of even a single Mass Card is extremely severe.

A conviction for selling a non-authorised Mass card carries a ten year jail sentence or a fine of up to €300,000.

Furthermore, you will be aware that the law on this matter dispenses with the long-established legal principle of ‘innocent until proved guilty’ and replaces that principle with a ‘guilty until proved innocent’ provision as follows:

In proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved on the balance of probibilities, that the sale of the Mass card to which the alleged offence relates was not done pursuant to an arrangement with a recognised person.

In order to be absolutely safe in proceeding with my business project I require, by law, your formal permission.

I therefore again formally request permission to sell signed and unsigned Mass cards as required under Section 99 of the Charities Act, 2009

Yours sincerely
Anthony Sheridan

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Labour TD Derek Nolan is a hypocrite

It’s now one week since I challenged Labour TD Derek Nolan to condemn his party colleague Senator Denis Landy for refusing to report bribery allegations he made in 2013 to the Gardai.

My challenge was in response to Nolan’s strong condemnation of Social Democratic TDs for refusing to pay their water charges.

This is Nolan’s opinion of those who refuse to obey the law.

There is no future for our democracy in people picking and choosing which laws they obey.

To my knowledge deputy Nolan has not responded to my challenge and therefore it is reasonable to assume the following:

Nolan’s concern for the rule of law is bogus. He is a hypocrite and therefore is not to be trusted as a public representative.

Sadly, he’s one of the many young politicians who are loyal members of the gombeen culture that’s responsible for the destruction of our country.

Happily, that corrupt political regime is coming to an end.

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Corruption: Feeding off the carcass of Irish democracy

The following words, spoken by Barack Obama in Kenya, have never been heard in Ireland.

People were being consistently sapped by corruption at a high level and at a low level and there was a need for visible prosecutions to show Kenyans that action was being taken.

They (Kenyan people) don’t have to be forensic accountants to know what is going on.

Until these words are spoken and acted upon in Ireland we will continue to have endless inquiries and tribunals that are specifically designed to allow the disease of corruption to endlessly feed off the carcass of Irish democracy.

Posted in Body Politic, Government, The State | Leave a comment

Denis O’Brien gets yet another contract…on another planet

Another Earth?’ NASA hints at planetary discovery

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Government making Irish Water too big to fail?

Colette Browne has an excellent piece in yesterday’s Irish Independent in which she outlines and analyses the grotesque amounts of money being pumped (no apology for pun) into Irish Water.

I suspect that part of the reason so much money is being poured into the bottomless pit that is Irish Water is to make its loans and liabilities so big that the Government can claim that its too big to fail and therefore must be saved at any cost (to the taxpayer) – just like the banks.

Here’s a quote referring to Alan Kelly’s ecstatic response to the fact that just 46pc of people are actually paying water charges.

Monty Python’s Black Knight – who insisted his injuries were only a flesh wound even as his opponent hacked off his arms and his legs – Mr Kelly was adamant it was the Government’s plan all along that most people would ignore their water bills.

Posted in Government, Irish Water | 3 Comments

Is that baby an Irish citizen?

So, the question is – Is that baby born on the Irish naval ship LÉ Niamh an Irish citizen?

I think she is.

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David Begg and ‘Jobs for the boys’

David Begg of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said he was never offered any training for his role – but never asked for it either.

Let’s be clear on this: There is no training necessary for a ‘Jobs for the boys’ job.

All that is required is an ability to reap the benefits and that comes naturally for members of the ruling elite.

Posted in Central Bank, Unions | Leave a comment

A direct challenge to Labour Party TD Derek Nolan

Labour TD Derek Nolan recently delivered a political sermon with the heading:

Do the Social Democrats believe in the rule of law?

Deputy Nolan was writing about the decision of Social Democrat TDs not to pay their water charges and didn’t mince his words:

There is no future for our democracy in people picking and choosing which laws they obey.

In July 2013 Labour Senator Denis Landy alleged that a political person attempted to bribe him within the confines of the Oireachtas. He has refused to name the person involved or report the matter to the Gardai despite numerous calls for him to do so.

Senator Landy’s refusal to report the matter seems to be in breach of Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011 which states:

19. (1) A person shall be guilty of an offence if he or she has information which he or she knows or believes might be of material assistance in

(a) preventing the commission by any other person of a relevant offence, or

(b) securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any other person for a relevant offence and fails without reasonable excuse to disclose that information as soon as it is practicable to do so to a member of the Garda Síochána.

The list of offences under this legislation includes bribery.

The Labour Party, through a spokesperson, responded to this extremely serious incident by declaring that the bribery attempt was a matter for Senator Landy himself.

In effect, the Labour party is saying that Labour TDs who are offered a bribe have no obligation to report the matter to the Gardai; they can simply treat the matter as private and personal.

This disgraceful response also seems to be in breach of Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011.

So here’s my direct challenge to deputy Nolan.

One: Will you publicly condemn Labour Senator Denis Landy, (as you have publicly condemned Social Democrat TDs), for refusing to report to the Gardai bribery allegations he made in July 2013?

Two: Will you publicly call on Senator Landy, even at this late stage, to report the bribery allegations to the Gardai as he is obliged to do under law?

Three: Will you publicly condemn the disgraceful Labour Party response to this extremely serious matter?

Four: Will you publicly call on the Labour Party to issue a statement confirming that Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011 takes precedence over the party’s policy that bribery attempts are a private matter between a politician and the person offering the bribe?

Your response to this challenge will decide whether your condemnation of Social Democratic TDs is based on genuine concern for the rule of law or whether it’s based on traditional Irish political hypocrisy.

One week, I believe is a reasonable length of time for a response.

Yours etc.,
Anthony Sheridan

Copy to:
Deputy Nolan
Senator Landy
Labour Party

Posted in Labour Party, The State | Leave a comment

Gardai prepare for Labour wipeout in next election

TDs have been warned by Gardai that Leinster House is under threat from potential “fixated loners” (Irish Times, 13 July).

Obviously, this is in preparation for the aftermath of the next election when Labour Party ‘fixated loners’ are sure to be seen wandering around Leinster House wondering what what the hell happened to all their party colleagues.

The suggestion that the Gardai are preparing for a Labour Party wipeout is strengthened by a warning in the report that some of the fixated loners could be suffering from delusion.

The proposed installation of an ‘anti-bandit’ screen could however be a step too far by the Gardai as this will surely debar the majority of TDs from entering Leinster House.

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Unionist violence? Move on, nothing to see here

At least 20 police officers injured including one who lost an ear when hit by a missile. A 16 year old girl knocked down by a car and a death threat to a politician.

Standby for at least two weeks of hard questioning and moral outrage from RTE, Newstalk and Independent Newspapers in response to these sinister incidents.

Oh wait, the violence originated from the Unionist side, not Sinn Fein/Nationalist.

Ok, move on, nothing to see here.

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