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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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I can say, in clear conscience, without doubt in my mind, that Ballyseedy was an atrocity.

I can also say that people who were executed without trial by the Cumann na nGaedheal government were murdered.

Ballyseedy was an atrocity, those people who were killed without a trial by the first government of this state were murdered.

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Once again I rang Limerick City Council looking for the Cllr Kennedy report that they keep telling me is in the post.

I’m told I’ll have the report by Friday or early next week.

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I’m still waiting for that promised report from Limerick City Council regarding allegations that Fine Gael Cllr. cheated on his expenses.

In the meantime it seems that Cllr. Kennedy can’t stop paying back money to all and sundry.

A report in yesterday’s Irish Independent tells us the Cllr has refunded a further €2,600 to two national bodies from which he claimed mileage expenses.

This is in addition to the €1,700 he refunded 18 months ago for travel expenses that he wasn’t entitled to.

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I rang Limerick City Council again today to check on that report they promised to send me.

I spoke with a very nice lady who apologised because she thought the report had already been posted.

Said she would deal with the matter immediately.

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