Ned O'Keeffe: Let them eat cake

This seems to have gone below the radar but is a fascinating insight into the minds of TDs, or perhaps more specifically Fianna Fail TDs.

And it goes to the heart of local politics in Ireland – back scratching, vote-buying, cute hoorism and backwoodsman bollocks.

Today’s Evening Echo (Cork) reports:

East Cork TD Ned O’Keeffe has said Rathcormac National School should not be a priority for funding and that it has a “fabulous” layout of Portakabins.

Rathcormac NS has more than 200 pupils and there are nine prefabs in use, at a cost of €83,000 per year.

But it gets worse:

A site alongside the existing school has been identified and architectural designs have been drawn up. The local community has campaigned for a new school for the past decade.

Deputy O’Keeffe insisted, however, that the school was not a priority for him, as Rathcormac was not a place where he gained many votes.

He told the Evening Echo:

“There is a fabulous layout of Portakabins there. There are many other schools that need the funding first. Rathcormac NS will get a new building when funds become available, simple as that.”

Deputy O’Keeffe said he was being honest with the parents’ council of Rathcormac NS when he said he would not lobby the Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe.

He explained that he had not received votes in the area when he ran for election to the Dail in 2007.

“I was contacted by a representative for the parents’ council and told her straight out my position. Des O’Malley used to do the same. All things being equal, I asked her why I should look after the people of Rathcormac if they didn’t look after me? I told her there was no funding available.”

Because you’re a fucking elected representative perhaps, Ned, who gets paid by those taxpayers in Rathcormac?

But, there you have it.

Fuck you Rathcormac if you don’t vote for me. And fuck you and your children in their Portakabins.

Fuck you if you don’t vote Fianna Fail. And if you don’t vote for me next time, I might just stop road repairs, reduce the number of gardai, and give planning permission for a dump next to you, too.

[Disclosure] I work for the group which owns the Evening Echo. The opinions expressed are my own.

22 thoughts on “Ned O'Keeffe: Let them eat cake”

  1. Thank you for posting this Gavin. Deserves wider circulation than the print version of the Echo and I couldn’t see it on their site. B.

  2. This is almost unbelievable. “Babe” O’Keeffe may be known for gaffes but he has excelled himself this time. This should get the widest publicity. Can a TD be impeached for dereliction of duty?

  3. Devils advocate here. If this idiot can still get elected without the votes of Rathcormac then maybe Rathcormac doesn’t really matter. Isn’t this an example of the needs of the many coming over the needs of the few?

    Isn’t that how democracy works, the most popular opinion elects the most popular leader who in theory represents the most popular needs? This system is designed so that it’s in Mr. O’Keefe’s interests to look after the most amount of people.

    I can’t stand all this fingerpointing at the politicians. You voted them in! If you really cared so much about how the country was run, you’d get informed about your candidates and vote. If you really really cared, you’d canvas for your preferred candidate or if there was none perhaps run for office yourself. Look at the voting turn out numbers. Quiz a random stranger on who ran at their last local election, ask them what differences were there between the candidates on any issues. I bet you at least 7/10 won’t have a clue beyond physical appearances and party affiliations.

    If you voted for “the other guy” fair enough. But most of you (according to the participation stats) only have yourselves to blame. It’s a funny world, people complain all the time about bad bosses and supervisors but in the only opportunity where we get to choose our leaders they don’t turn up or just pick someone without an educated analysis of all options.

  4. Well, Tom, you hit some of it on the head – party affiliations is (hopefully – was) where it’s at, ain’t it? The people who voted these schuckmeisters in again and again did so because Da did, being bred as FF’s. The idiots who got elected this way also ran for election because Da did, being bred as super-FF’s as well. Check ’em out – from the top on down… all the ‘family traditions’ are there – Dads & sons & daughters & brothers & sisters & cousins. That’s Irish politics – get elected on family and pre-Irish Free State afilliations – then engage in the ultimate in Pork Barrel Politics – ‘favours’ – everything from salmon fishing licences to planning permission to getting a passport in a hurry, (not to mention mobile phone licences) and lo and behold, the sheep keep on a-following and voting like they’re supposed to, and you’re in! And then you stay in, by a cunningly contrived carrot and stick programme – a road here, a harbour there. maybe a bit of medical stuff, a new building, a Portakabin (maybe even the PROMISE of a maybe school)… Most of the people in Government were voted in NOT because of what they had done or could do, but because of what they SAID they would do (if elected) and because they were a part of the same old tired breed, as useless as the religion which most of their supporters were involved with. As stuck-in-the-mud; as self-serving, and as obviously as stupid and uncaring for the eventual fate of their supporters, as long as they voted right. or gave freely at the collection. Their heart is The Party – NOT – The Country. I could show you a shop window which has EIGHT photos of the present Tanaiste in it. EIGHT! ‘Course, it also has pictures of JFK…??? ’tis hoped that the anger of the parents of Rathcormac will spill over and eventually (soon) infect the nearby electorate with a desire to send these yo-yos to their appointed fate. As for ‘Babe’ maybe Biffo ought to get him a new pram. Let him suck on his dummy, and ponder the next General Election… This is Government???

  5. What Tom said: don’t like em? Don’t vote for em. In fact we might extend that: don’t like em? campaign for someone else who you agree with.

    Having said that, Ned is equating votes he receives with what ‘favours’ he can dispense. Why wouldn’t any elected rep do exactly the same until such time as we stop treating our national politicians like local brokers.

  6. Tom, I appreciate that you are playing devil’s advocate. And I agree that people should exercise their right to vote, but I don’t think that should excuse him. There’s no excuse for it. And in defense of voters, every day I have stuff I should be investigating, work related, child-care related, instructions for devices around the house, trying to keep up with current affairs, consumer rights, etc, etc and on top of this I am supposed to become more active politically so that gombeens like this lad can not behave in such a disgraceful manner. And what if I make a mistake in my investigation of a political candidate and the person I support in turns out to be just like this. Are we saying that I can’t point the finger at him? Would you not be able to stand it if people that voted for him pointed their fingers at his behaviour?

  7. If this shower of gobshites were operating in Africa we’d be crying “corrupt regime that wouldn’t relinquish power”. There’s no difference.

  8. This is a glaringly honest assessment of how this country is run and by whom its run for – political representatives,their families and cohorts.

    Now when will we get up off our knees and challenge the greedy free staters. As is free to them and theirs and very expensive to the rest of us.

  9. This kind of attitute from an elected representative is unacceptable, however not suprising, that is how politics is done.

    The real disgrace as far as I am concerned is that a situation has arisen where a parents council is having to lobby politicians to build a school – why was planning granted for such a huge increase in houses in the village without FIRST identifying, and funding through levies on the developers, the required infrastructure. The schol is the most obvious shotcoming, but I wonder how much thought was put into things like sewage, fire service cover etc.

  10. Lads,
    If it really bothers u that much why dont u do something about it. I am not condoning the FF mupppet by any means. Just stop complaining about the muppets and do something about it.

  11. Sigh…the frustrations of being a local reporter, no one takes notice. We did this last week and no one took notice. But when the ECHO does it… 😀


    Outspoken Fianna Fail TD Ned O’Keeffe has confirmed that he told the chairperson of the parents’ council of a local national school that ‘there are no votes for Fianna Fail in the school’s village when approached for help in securing funding from the Department of Education.

    Claire O’Flynn, chairperson of Rathcormac’s Scoil Bhride Parents’ Council said that Deputy O’Keeffe made the ‘disgraceful’ remarks when she contacted him on the ongoing issue of overcrowding and the reliance on temporary classrooms at the school.

    “He said that he had no votes in Rathcormac and that he would only speak to people in places where he had votes. He said that as far as Fianna Fail were concerned Rathcormac was ‘no use to us’ and asked me who I voted for,” Mrs O’Flynn said.

    Mrs O’Flynn added that Deputy O’Keeffe suggested that his son, Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe, polled badly in the village at the recent local elections.

    “Of course the people of Rathcormac will support their local man,” she continued, referring to newly elected Fine Gael Cllr Pa O’Driscoll – a Rathcormac native – “but surely politicians should realise that it’s not a vote against the others.”

    Speaking to The Avondhu Deputy O’Keeffe reiterated his belief that there are no votes for his party in Rathcormac.

    “I also said what was told to the people of Rathcormac already by the Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe, that the new school would be built when the Government has the funds to do so,” he added.

    Approximately ˆ83,000 is spent annually on maintaining 10 prefabricated units in Scoil Bhride, which caters for over 200 students and currently has two permanent classrooms in the original school building. The proliferation of prefabs in the school was cited as contributing to the extensive flooding in the school yard last February that prevented some children from going into their cabin classrooms.

    The school management is awaiting the go-ahead from the Minister for Education to build a new school on a site in the village purchased in 2006.

    “Our campaign is continuing, we are not sitting down anymore,” Mrs O’Flynn added.

    The Parents Council are planning a range of activities to highlight the ongoing issues at the school, with a ‘positive protest’ planned at a national Fianna Fail meeting to be held this summer. A flyer campaign and placards in the village of Rathcormac are expected in the coming months.

  12. im fianna fail born and bred, and hate the way that fianna fail are getting a bashing for everything, its not their fault that there is a recession world wide, the people of the government are doing what they can to get us out of it. but i really have to say by fuck i cant stand ned o keeffe, hes an evil man who will slate everyone, even his own fellow party members just to keep his name out there. fianna fail should not of left him back in after the vote of confidence a year and half ago. its just sour grapes with him that he is finally losing his popularity.

  13. Haughy carried out a similar FF tactic in Limerick city when he was in dispute with Dessie O’Malley some years back.
    The result was the closure of one of the most efficient hospitals in this country; Barringtons hospital.
    A choice was given whereby Haughy would shut one hospital. The catholic bishop’s hospital St.Johns was selected to remain open over the protestant Barringtons and the city has never recovered from that loss.
    Fianna Fáil have been fucking us over since their inception.

  14. It was picked up by The Irish Examiner on Saturday and just now on Morning Ireland. They played a tape of Ned* saying essentially the same as above on local radio and carried a live interview with a parent.

    She said temporary accommodation has been used by the school since 1967 and pointed out a commercial mortgage would cost similar money to the rent paid on Portakabins.

    I wish them luck but of course even if they got a new building tomorrow, the underlying problem won’t be solved.

    * Hi unstranger – I think I heard Ned approvingly mention O’Malley, saying he supported those who supported him. Must listen to that again later.

  15. So glad to see this being picked up by mainstream media (Morning Ireland) today. Although the main focus was on the school and not the wider issue of bad government.

    This needs to be held up as a filthy example of how politics conducts itself in this banana republic.

    Resources should be allocated and spent where needed. It should have nothing to do with votes. This is at the very core of what needs changing in this country.

    It does not need to take years to change this perception among our people. We simply need educate so as to recognise this evil and thus remove it from our society.

    Culture change of this nature does not need to take generations.

  16. I had the misfortune of living in the shitpit that is Rathcormac for a year. The most boring year of my life. The population exploded from 500 to 2500 but nothing but houses were built. I don’t blame people for being pissed off about the school situation there, its bursting at the seams.

    But unfortunately Rathcormac is only one of about a dozen Cork county schools collapsing in on themselves by excess pupils and unsuitable facilities. The fact that O Keefe doesn’t wish to represent certain parts of his constituency is a separate issue. No school should operate in temporary accomodation, and all building in that area should be stopped until the school situation is resolved.

    That O Keefe doesn’t wish to represent his constituents is a serious breach of the obligations of a public representative and quite frankly his party should have serious words with him. Of course, hopefully there are 2500 votes which will not go his way next time and other Cork villages take note. Just vote him and his rotten family out of power and let somebody else do his job, if he won’t do it.

    I must say its rather fortunate that his son was not voted in if this is the family attitude. The people of North Cork were clearly saved another pig in a poke.

  17. He wouldnt happen to have any interests in the portacabin industry would he? It wouldnt surprise me if he did as all they are interested in is lining their pockets for them selves and F##k everyone over in the process. They should all be put out to pasture and left to rot the same way the general population of this country has by them.

  18. Mrs O’Flynn added that Deputy O’Keeffe suggested that his son, Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe, polled badly in the village at the recent local elections.

    “Of course the people of Rathcormac will support their local man,” she continued

    Mrs O’Flynn doesn’t appear to get it either.

  19. The state recently pledged to cherish all children equally, Mr O Keeffe’s stated position is clearly contrary to this. Mr O Keeffe believes that the tax payer’s money is part of Fianna Fails war chest to distribute to compliant and loyal supporters.
    It appears in East Cork the quality a child’s education is dependant upon the political allegiance of the parent, this is the policy of an apartheid. The legality and constitutionality of Mr. O Keeffe’s policy of linking the quality a child’s education to the voting preferences of parents must be examined.

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