Fine Gael

You are currently browsing the archive for the Fine Gael category.

It looks like the battle for control of Independent news and media (INM) is reaching its end game.

This morning an anonymous buyer bought 13 million shares in the group.

RTE business editor, David Murphy, said the buyer couldn’t be Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien or the O’Reilly’s because they would have to notify the Irish Stock Exchange of any such purchase.

All I can say is – bless his innocence.

If Denis O’Brien and his pal Dermot Desmond win the battle the first casualty, apart from the current CEO Gavin O’Reilly, is likely to be the Editor of the Sunday Independent Anne Harris.

Harris wrote a trenchant article recently drawing attention to the dangers for press freedom if Denis O’Brien gains control. She expressed particular worry about O’Brien’s close relationship to Fine Gael.

The reason all this matters to the Sunday Independent is that we may be about to lose one of the most important tools of transparency – press freedom.

Take a government with an obscene majority, allow a media mogul who has influence – O’Brien makes no secret of his desire for influence – with the dominant party and before long it may not be just an appearance of the dictatorial.

Share this:

Letter in today’s Irish Times


For 15 years we listened to politicians refuse to comment on those under investigation by the Mahon tribunal on the grounds that such comment could undermine the work of the tribunal.

Now, after Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell was found to have acted inappropriately by accepting £500 from Frank Dunlop, we’re told by Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton that any comment could undermine the work of the recently established Fine Gael internal inquiry.

The Minister tells us that the inquiry will make recommendations, which, no doubt, will be forwarded to a committee for further consideration before being forwarded to a sub-committee before being . . . quietly forgotten.

Yours, etc,

Anthony Sheridan

Share this:

Letter in today’s Irish Examiner.

A legitimate cause for concern for both Enda Kenny and Fine Gael

Fine Gael’s failure to understand why scenes of Enda Kenny being glad handled in Denis O’Brien’s company are a legitimate cause of concern is understandable, at least in the context of the hypocrisy of that party’s attitude to the findings made against one of their own when compared to what its reaction would have been if Mr O’Brien had close links with Fianna Fáil and was pictured with Brian Cowen.

Most of Mr O’Brien’s businesses seem to operate in countries where the rule of law and regulation is at best applied with the lightest of touch.

I wonder if he would have been as successful in Norway as he is in some place like Haiti.

But it’s not just the meeting at the NYE Stock Exchange, it’s also the pally chat Mr O’Brien and Mr Kenny would have had at the breakfast beforehand and the lunch afterwards and in the corridor.

It’s also the fact that because Fine Gael refuses to publish proper audited accounts we don’t know how much money Dennis O’Brien has paid to that party or its elected representatives, or what policy he was able to shape in return since at least 2002.

Interesting too is the failure of anyone in Fine Gael to provide an example after Moriarty or Mahon and tell the people of North Tipperary, and elsewhere, that if they choose to elect people who fail to meet the highest standards expected of members of our Parliament, as is their democratic right, they must also be prepared to accept the consequences.

One of which is that such a representative will not have free access to members of the government.

Fine Gael claims to be the party of reform but its first year in government has been a dismal failure in terms of reform.

So far it has matched the cronyism of the last government step by step.

It could have decided no member of the Government would get a pay rise upon taking office for at least the first term in office, but it didn’t.

It could have had a transparent application process for advisers, but it didn’t, and instead appointed party cronies.

It could have immediately repealed FOI restrictions but it didn’t.

It could have ended the gravy train of expenses, but it didn’t.

But even worse are the bully boy tactics used by the likes of Charles Flanagan and Phil Hogan and the intellectual snobbery of Alan Shatter.

Desmond FitzGerald
Canary Wharf

Share this:

Fine Gael Minister of State Alan Kelly, responding to the Mahon Tribunal Report on a recent Frontline programme (26th March), put down a marker on how Ireland is to be governed in the future.

Well Pat we can never ever, allow this to happen again. The simple fact is that Fianna Fail and others polluted this country with corruption for over 20 years.

The Minister didn’t specify if he was including Fine Gael in the ‘others’.

There’s a whole new generation of politicians including myself and michael (McGrath, Fianna Fail TD) who need to advance politics in this country in a progressive way. We cannot put up with what Fianna Fail has done in the last 20 to 30 years.

Immediately Kelly contradicted all his fine words when he defended the termination of planning inquiries by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

Minister Kelly is a fool if he thinks Irish politics can rid itself of corruption while continuing to engage in Tammany Hall type strokes.

Fianna Fail TD, Michael McGrath also claimed that young politicians like himself were the future for Ireland and then, like Minister Kelly, immediately contradicted his fine words by telling us that people like Brian Lenihan, Seamus Brennan, David Andrews, Mary O’Rourke and Rory O’Hanlon were people of the highest personal integrity.

These are people who served themselves, their party, their party leaders (which included unquestioning loyalty to the criminal Haughey and the liar Ahern) before considering the good of Ireland and its people.

It is crystal clear from the attitude and mindset of Kelly and McGrath that they are nothing more than gombeen clones of those responsible for the destruction of the state.

Far from injecting new, honest, radical, reforming blood into the Irish body politic they are sure to perpetuate the same old rotten system well into the future.

Copy to:

Alan Kelly
Michael McGrath

Share this:

When I read that Environment Minister Phil Hogan was refusing to pay service charges on his Portugal holiday penthouse I thought – it’s obviously an April Fools story.

But apparently the story is true.

Would you pay a charge if you were unhappy with the service the Minister is reported to have asked.

Right on Minister and hundreds of thousands of citizens share your sentiments.

Share this:

Elaine Byrne has an excellent piece in yesterday’s Sunday Independent analyzing why the close connection between Fine Gael and Denis O’Brien could have major negative consequences for Ireland.

Her article, taken with Jody Corcoran’s article, tells us that the Irish Tammany Hall system of government is alive and well.

Share this:

Jody Corcoran has a good piece in today’s Sunday Independent outlining the history of donations from big business to Fine Gael.

Share this:

Once again we see the greed and arrogance of politicians as they help themselves to even more money from the taxpayer’s pocket as the country goes down the tubes.

Minister for something or other, Pat Rabbitte, was not pleased when questioned about his Labour colleague Jan O’Sullivan pocketing an extra allowance of €17,205 per year on top of her minister’s salary of €130,042 (Morning Ireland, 2nd item).

In a barely tolerant voice at being asked such trivial questions Minister Rabbitte responded:

Well, sometimes our public debate has an unerring instinct for the peripheral. Jan O’Sullivan was promoted to Cabinet and has got the rate that goes with the job…

I mean if this is the level of discussion at a time when the country is virtually bankrupt as a result of the dysfunction of Fianna Fail I really find it very difficult to take it seriously.

When it was suggested that unwarranted expenses should be addressed the Minister became angry and did what all puffed up ministers do when they’re asked hard questions, he wandered off talking about something else.

Well are you suggesting that a tiny island nation that’s trying to trade with the rest of the world shouldn’t promote itself and promote the Taoiseach when he meets foreign leaders and tries to sell Ireland abroad?

I mean this has to be seen in perspective; government has to do its job to the best of its ability to sell this country…

It would be best if this kind of pernicious ad hominem, personal rumours by Sinn Fein were ignored and better that Fianna Fail be ignored given what they’ve done to the country.

Meanwhile, a very angry Pat Kenny, put the following question to Fine Gael TD, Mary Mitchell O’Connor regarding the government levy on personal pensions.

What is the moral basis for putting their hands in people’s pockets and stealing their money?

Pat, you know and I know that there’s no money in the country and we have to take extraordinary measures.

We’re depending on outside agencies, the IMF, EU and ECB to keep the country running.

Tell that to the so-called left wing socialists Rabbitte and O’Sullivan.

Share this:

Email to Fine Gael Headquarters.

To Whom It May Concern:

It is reported in today’s Irish Independent that Fine Gael considers the controversy surrounding Cllr. Kennedy’s expenses to be an internal matter. Is this correct?

Yours etc.
Anthony Sheridan

Dear Anthony

You are incorrect. This is very much a public matter, but as it is the subject on an internal investigation, I am precluded from comment.


Vincent Gribbin
Head of Internal Communication
Fine Gael Headquarters
51 Uppr Mount St, Dublin 2

Damn, foiled again by the ‘I am precluded from comment until the investigation is complete excuse’.

Share this:

I finally received the Cllr. Kennedy report last Friday. Its contents were predictable.

Cllr. Kennedy outlined the matter pretty much as it appeared in media reports.

His principal point was that he had made an honest and genuine mistake which, when it was brought to his attention, he immediately refunded the payments.

Limerick City Council, after considering Cllr. Kennedy’s excuse, decided that he was telling the truth.

The Council summed up as follows:

The matter highlights the importance of ensuring that claim forms are properly and accurately completed before being submitted for payment.

Having regard to this and the requirement for openness and transparency in the public service, the undersigned have decided to refer a copy of this report to the Standards in Public Office Commission for their information.

It would, of course, have been astonishing if the outcome had been any different.

I considered submitting the complaint to SIPO but it’s an absolute certainty that the outcome would be the same – and Christmas is nearly upon us.

Share this:

« Older entries § Newer entries »