Minister of State, Conor Lenihan, was on the Marian Finucane Show (Sunday) parroting the same dishonest arguments made by his aunt, Mary O’Rourke, in defence of John O’Donoghue’s disgraceful abuse of taxpayer’s money. Lenihan did, however, add some twists to his own particular waffle.
Starting off with the usual ‘John is a good friend of mine’, Lenihan said he wouldn’t put pressure on him to explain his actions because that might lead to an inquiry that would involve everything that has happened in the last ten years.
Like his aunt Lenihan then blamed the civil servants:
John O’Donoghue had no hand, act or part in booking reservations; they were all made by civil servants.
He immediately added that he wasn’t blaming the civil servants and later said it was just the administrative system but he wasn’t blaming the system either. Actually, this makes perfect sense in our corrupt state – When bad things happen nobody is ever to blame.
John O’Donoghue is, according to Lenihan, a hard working politician who isn’t interested in a lavish lifestyle but if people want him to properly represent Ireland a price has to be paid. A good example of the price paid by Irish taxpayer’s is revealed in yesterday’s Sunday Tribune.
O’Donoghue spent €472 on a limousine to take him from Terminal 3 in Heathrow airport to Terminal 1 – a journey which would have taken three minutes on the airport’s free shuttle service.
This, according to Linehan, is not lavish?
Like his aunt, Lenihan claimed that O’Donoghue couldn’t make a public statement on the scandal because it might bring the office of Ceann Comhairle into disrepute but he went further by suggesting that the office of Ceann Comhairle was on a par with that of the President and therefore not even a government minister has the right to demand accountability.
That’s a matter for the Ceann Comhairle (accountability), I have an obligation as a Government Minister not to criticise the President. The Ceann Comhairle is in a similar enough position. It’s not really appropriate for a Government minister to go around telling or ordering the Ceann Comhairle or the President of this country what they should or shouldn’t do and I’m not going to start doing that on this programme.
This, of course, is a ridiculous statement and Lenihan should have been nailed by the RTE presenter, Rachel English. She should have forced him to state on what basis he was making such a claim but yet again RTE simply accepted the word of a politician as gospel.
The response to this latest scandal by O’Rourke, Lenihan and politicians in general is as predictable as it is cowardly. They have little interest in the welfare of Irish citizens or the good of the country. They’re only interested in their own enrichment, the enrichment of their fellow politicians and the interests of those who fund and support them.
They are, in a word, traitors.
Marian Finucane Show