The death of innocence

The Green Party has had its first blooding in how to manage scandal in public life. Secrecy is the crucial element in Irish public life if a politician or party wants to avoid having to provide embarrassing and far fetched explanations to the public.

And Trevor Sergeant’s explanation (8th item) regarding the illegal supervision of Seanad election voting was far fetched.

Green Party councillors had received an email instructing them to submit their ballot cards for inspection. Because they’re new to power and because they still have political integrity they naively made their outrage public. Tut, tut, first rule in Irish political life – All law breaking must be kept secret.

Sargent explained that the email was sent because of

“a mistaken understanding based on an old rule that unfortunately was presented as the current situation.”

Brilliant, pure Fianna Fail. Just mouth words, it doesn’t matter what they are, doesn’t matter if they make sense or not, nobody is going to delve any deeper. Well, almost nobody.

The situation is simple. For years Irish political parties have been breaking electoral law by forcing councillors to submit their ballot papers for inspection to ensure that deals done are being adhered to.

So what is Sargent talking about? Was there an old Seanad rule that allowed parties to break the law? Does the ‘current situation’ mean that that rule is now outlawed?

How are other parties, used to illegally tampering with electoral law, going to make the difficult transition to genuine democratic practices?

Or, has the Green Party learned the lesson and arrived at a ‘suitable alternative (secret) arrangement’ whereby Fianna Fail can be sure of their pound of flesh?

Ah, the death of innocence.

2 thoughts on “The death of innocence”

  1. Hello all,

    I thought you and some of your members may be interested in this thought provoking exhibition.

    The showing of the exhibition has been extended until October 30th.

    Many thanks for your support

    Yours in Peace,

    Michael Gallagher.

    086 4048249

    Images of Resistance – Iraq and Beyond

    Photography Exhibition

    Matt Merrigan Hall
    55 Middle Abbey Street
    Dublin 1
    Mon-Thurs – 11am-4pm * Friday 11am-3pm
    Until October 30th

    A collaboration of the work of many photographers including serving and former soldiers, the main purposes of this exhibition is to help raise consciousness and awareness in the public of the opposition to wars, the plight of the people in war torn countries, the real reasons behind wars, the effects of war and also to show the situations soldiers find themselves in. Many of the images come from war zones including Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

    This photo documentary is regularly updated with images from conflict situations around the world and further showings are planned in countries that have any involvement in any wars or the arms industry. The exhibition tour will include many Irish locations so as to highlight the use of Shannon Airport by the US military and the manufacture of weapons components in north and south of Ireland. It will also inform Irish taxpayers in particular, how some of our taxes are being used and will raise questions about our so called military neutrality.
    Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Derry and Belfast are some of the locations planned for the exhibition in 2010.

    Donations are welcome to help fund the tour of this important and exceptional body of work.

    Cheques etc to: Account No. 90747246 – sort code: 90-07-11
    Bank of Ireland, Talbot Street, Dublin 1.

    All the photographers go through risks in capturing some of the images and do it mainly out of their passion for photojournalism and generally at their own expenses. Any finance accrued through sales of prints etc, goes back into maintaining the exhibition, such as reframing, reprinting, general printing and carriage/ travel costs etc.

    This project is not for profit.

    Image contributers to date are photographers, Zoriah Miller, Michael Gallagher, Geróid O’Loingsigh, Guy Smallman, Paula Geraghty, Paul Mattsson, serving and former soldiers (who wish to remain anonymous)

    The work has been shown a number of times since 2005 and many thanks to those who have sponsored or assisted us so far:
    The Irish Anti War Movement – Staff at UNITE
    Joe Higgins MEP – Senator David Norris –
    People Against War – The Teacher’s Club
    anti war activists, June Kelly, Ciaran and Martin O’Sulllivan, individual donators and the public who attended our pub quiz.

    Printing of the current batch of images on show was by Photolabs of Portabello, Dublin.

    Contact me if you would like this exhibition to be shown in your location or for any enquiries: Michael Gallagher (photographer and co-ordinator of the project) 00353 (0) 86 4048249 libertypics@

    A selection of images from the exhibition (including photo essays etc of workers issues) can be seen @

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