Deals and 'arrangements' – all very normal

At first glance, the case of Cllr. Michael Fahy dealt with today at the Circuit Criminal Court in Galway today, is straight forward.

Cllr Fahy was convicted of obtaining €7,000 by false pretences in 2002 and the attempted theft of €7,500 in 2003 as well as five other charges of deception and false accounting. But as always in Ireland there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Fahy committed the fraud in 2001 and when council engineers suspected something was wrong an internal investigation was initiated which found that the Council was out to the tune of €7,000. In a properly functioning jurisdiction the next step would be to inform the police. But as with the Friends First fraud, (See below) that is not how things are done in Ireland.

Instead, Cllr. Fahy was summoned by the County Manager in Galway County Council, Donal O’Donaghue and told that he would have to repay the €7,000. In addition, because of what he had done, he would have to make a contribution to a local charity.

In other words, the theft of €7,000 of taxpayer’s money by a local politician was being covered up by the local authority. In a properly functioning jurisdiction this ‘arrangement’ would be seen and dealt with as a serious crime in itself.

Cllr. Fahy repaid the €7,000 and donated €3,000 to the local Lourdes Invalid Fund and there the matter rested.

In June 2004, Brian McDonald, West of Ireland correspondent for the Irish Independent, got wind of the story and submitted an FOI request for documents concerning Cllr. Michael Fahy – The story was out.

Once again, justice was only done because of good investigative journalism. What I find amazing is how the massive elephant in the room can be ignored. Time after time corruption is covered up, arrangements are made, deals are done and, for the most part, all this is seen as perfectly normal.

4 thoughts on “Deals and 'arrangements' – all very normal”

  1. Its all very fishy. Really its a a bit similar to a group of people with a political motivation setting up a (Public Inquiry) Website (without any Health Warnings) and pretending that its truly independent. Shock Horror.

  2. No use welcoming me back Anto “the supreme moderator” I have sent some of my best prose to you in the past but what have you done with it certainly not publish it anyway. Obviously the same auld predictable diatribe you trot out on this site is so blatantly biased you are losing all support in the blog community didn’t see you getting a star billing at the recent Irish Blog Awards 2007.

  3. I suppose from you point of view Gav its better to have some readers regardless of what their views are. There’s a lot of competition about in the opinions field and people tune out very quickly if they find a lack of balance in the editorial pieces. But then if a website is set up for purposive and toleological reasons such as this one is then its left to the few remaining readers to point out the shortcomings. It would be altogether better for you and the Uncle to come clean at the start and state what your real motivation is. But honesty is something which is easily preached about and not so easily put into practice.
    You are both very good at the former.

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