Ivan Yates: Fine Gael's Bertie Ahern

Retired Fine Gael politician and former Minister Ivan Yates is a man without any moral standards.

He doesn’t believe in restraints or principles, he’s completely indifferent to questions of right or wrong. He is, according to himself, a totally amoral person (The Saturday Night Show).

During his interview with Brendan O’Connor Yates clearly and cynically demonstrated his amorality.

On politics

He left politics because it was too difficult. Funerals, clinics, public meetings – all too much hassle. TDs are nothing more than glorified County Councillors in a system that regularly throws up ill equipped people.

Politics is not about the country, it’s about getting re-elected, I wanted to change the world but I copped myself on, he cynically declared.

On the economy

Adjustments have to be made and we (the peasants, not Yates) have to be disciplined and do what’s necessary.

This should include; getting rid of quangos, reform the civil service, means test or get rid concessions to the elderly such as free travel, free electricity, free TV licence and free telephone.

Pensioners should also be made to pay more because they invariably have their houses paid for and the cost of living has come down.

On his own pensions (To my knowledge this greedy businessman is in receipt of two pensions from the taxpayer)

O’Connor: You get a fairly hefty pension?

Yates: I have a fairly hefty pension; I’ve collected it since the day I left the Dail.

O’Connor: That’s the kind of thing…you’re loaded. (Big cheer from the audience).

Yates: Can I answer that, can I answer that. Whatever the system is, I’m entitled to it.

O’Connor: You shouldn’t be getting a pension at all. By your own rationale would you not say the country is going down the toilet.

You’re a fairly wealthy businessman and we’re still paying you a pension even though you’re not of pensionable age?

Yates: To be honest with you, for me to do something on my own behalf would be a cosmetic stunt but I’m quite happy to reform the system.

This type of cynicism and rank hypocrisy is the predominant attitude within the Irish body politic.

Yates is only unique in so far as, as a self confessed amoralist, he wallows in and actually enjoys milking the system at the expense of pensioners, the elderly and ordinary citizens.

In contrast to the ecstatic welcome afforded to Mary O’Rourke the previous Saturday, Yates was subject to some challenges from the audience, especially with regard to his greedy and arrogant attitude to his pension.

Presenter O’Connor, in line with most RTE journalists, was having none of it.

Constantly apologising to Yates for asking (embarrassing?) questions he also acted as a buffer between the greedy ex politician and the angry audience.

O’Connor scolded one disrespectful peasant who angrily demanded that Yates give up his pension.

It’s not Prime Time and we’re not going to ambush Ivan Yates. I don’t think he’s the worst of them anyway.

The bizarrely ironic aspect surrounding the attitude of this greedy and amoral businessman is that he regularly preaches to the nation about what needs to be done to resolve our problems while remaining totally oblivious to the part he personally has, and continues to play, in the destruction of our democracy.

He is, in effect, Fine Gael’s Bertie Ahern

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Ivan Yates
The Saturday Night Show

Why Callely's stupidity scares the body politic

Senator Ivor Callely is a non entity; he’s nothing more than an arrogant moron who doesn’t even possess the political intelligence necessary to get him out of his troubles.

But let there be no doubt, it is Callely’s political stupidity, his complete failure to understand and play by the rules of the corrupt political system that makes him so dangerous.

His failure to resign, his failure to accept the findings of the Seanad Members Interests Committee, his failure to respond quickly and effectively to the ongoing series of media revelations all continue to expose the rotten political system.

This is why politicians, from all parties, are in such a panic over Callely, why they hate him so much. His political stupidity is unwittingly exposing them, and the rotten system they so efficiently operate for their own benefit, to public scrutiny.

Let’s just look a one aspect of the corrupt system that has been exposed – Did Callely commit a criminal act when he falsely claimed €81,000 in travel expenses?

The Committee for Members Interests found that Callely had deliberately misrepresented his normal place of residence for the purpose of claiming allowances.

This action resulted in a loss to the taxpayer of €81,000 but the entire body politic is of the opinion that this particular act by Callely is not a criminal offence.

As far as members of Seanad and Dail Eireann are concerned Callely is guilty of nothing more than breaking the internal code of their exclusive club or as the committee’s report put it:

Not acting in good faith having regard to all of the circumstances.

They clearly believe that the alleged submission of false claims by Callely for €81,000 for travel expenses is not a criminal act and can therefore be dealt with as an in house breach of the rules.

On the other hand they believe that the alleged submission of false claims by Callely for €3,000 for mobile phones is a criminal act and should be dealt with by the Guards.

Here’s what two senators had to say on the matter

Independent senator Joe O’Toole (Marian Finucane Show, Sunday 22nd August).

It’s very important to know that a committee of the Seanad or of politicians should never be allowed, in a democracy, to investigate crimes…crimes should always be the business of the Gardai…if somebody is found to have committed a crime or is suspected to have committed a crime, that’s a matter for the Gardai.

It would be a banana republic if you put senators and TDs in charge of investigating a colleague with the power to penalties above and beyond what’s there.

This quote is slightly out of context but it’s clear that Senator O’Toole does not believe the committee was investigating a crime, he does not believe that Callely committed a criminal act when he falsely claimed €81,000 in travel expenses.

He does, apparently, believe that the alleged submission of a false claim by Callely for €3,000 for mobile phones is probably a criminal act and is therefore a matter for the Guards.

Independent senator Ronan Mullen’s reaction to the alleged false travel expenses claim by Callely for €81,000:

I find it hard to see where it could be made out that there was a criminal act per se. A person has to be judged according to the law as it stood at the time they did what they did.

During a recent RTE interview regarding the alleged false expenses claim by Callely for €3,000 for mobile phones Mullen said:

But we can park, at least, the criminal side of it and say let the proper authorities do their work and hopefully they will do their work and investigate it and let’s not do anything here to impede that.

Again, it’s clear that Mullen does not believe that Callely committed a criminal act when he falsely claimed €81,000 in travel expenses but does believe that the alleged submission of a false claim by Callely for €3,000 for mobile phones is probably a criminal act and is therefore a matter for the Guards.

The law on the matter is crystal clear (My emphasis).

Theft and Fraud Offences Act 2001 Section 10 (False accounting).

A person is guilty of an offence if he or she dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another

(a) Destroys, defaces, conceals or falsifies any account or any document made or required for any accounting purpose,

(b) fails to make or complete any account or any such document,


c) in furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any such document, which to his or her knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person shall be treated as falsifying an account or other document if he or she—

(a) makes or concurs in making therein an entry which is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, or

b) omits or concurs in omitting a material particular there from

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

In a real democracy like the UK, for example, Senator Callely would be under police investigation.

Tory Peer, Paul White known as Lord Hanningfield is under police investigation for allegedly dishonestly submitting claims for expenses to which he knew he was not entitled.

It’s worth reproducing the UK law for comparison purposes (My emphasis).

section 17 of the Theft Act 1968

17. False accounting.

(1) Where a person dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another,

(a) destroys, defaces, conceals or falsifies any account or any record or document made or required for any accounting purpose;


(b) in furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any such record or document as aforesaid, which to his knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular; he shall, on conviction on indictment, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

(2) For purposes of this section a person who makes or concurs in making in an account or other document an entry which is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, or who omits or concurs in omitting a material particular from an account or other document, is to be treated as falsifying the account or document.

The law regarding the allegations in both jurisdictions is practically identical. In the UK it’s a matter for the police and the courts, in Ireland it’s a political matter.

In other words, it’s the difference between an accountable democracy and a banana republic.

The bottom line is simple: The corrupt political system in Ireland cannot allow a serious police investigation into political expenses because to do so would risk exposing the whole rotten system.

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Seanad Committee for Members Interests

Callely: Questions and answers

Shortly after the Seanad Members’ Interests Committee found that Senator Callely had misrepresented his normal place of residence for the purpose of claiming allowances I rang Seanad Eireann with a number of questions.

I was asked to put my queries in writing and received answers last Friday.

Two of the more important questions/answers are reproduced below (My emphasis).

Question 1

The Committee found that Senator Callely was continuing to commit the offence of misrepresenting his place of residence in West Cork.

Who is responsible for rectifying this matter and is the matter being dealt with?


The Committee determined [paragraph 3 page 8 of the Select Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Eireann Report, dated 14th July 2010 ] that it is a matter for Senator Callely, in conjunction with the relevant authorities, to take account of the findings of its report and to regularise and make good his allowance affairs and to cease to misrepresent his normal place of residence.

On foot of that determination the Houses of the Oireachtas Service has written to Senator Callely informing him as to how the resolution of Seanad Eireann, of the same date, suspending him from the service of the House and withholding his salary for that period is being implemented by the Service and that his travel and accommodation expenses will not recommence unless and until the necessary declaration as to his normal place of residence has been submitted by him.

Question 2

It emerged during the course of the investigation that Senator Callely was claiming an overnight allowance while staying in his family home. When he was questioned about this matter he replied.

I comply with the regulations.


My claims, I understand, meet the definition of the Department of Finance.

Is Senator Callely correct in his claim that he is complying with the regulations and do his claims meet the definition of the Department of Finance?


Section 1 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members ) Act 1962 as amended by the Oireachtas (Miscellaneous Provisions) and Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Amendment) Act 1996 and the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court office Act 1998 provides that “where a Member…..makes an overnight stay in the Dublin area…..the Member may …be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas an overnight allowance in respect of accommodation in the amount sanctioned by the Minister for Finance…”

There is no express legal prohibition on a Member making such an overnight stay in his family home.

There we have it in black and white. Irish politicians can claim overnight expenses while staying in the family home.

Given the low level of honesty within the body politic it is reasonable to assume that the vast bulk of politicians do, in fact, make this claim.

Only radical surgery will root out the malignant cancer

Irish Independent

Justice demands bankers in handcuffs

THE nation still waits and grows weary waiting for people to be charged for bankrupting our country.

How long does it take to read a file and make recommendations? What’s the delay in assembling the evidence?

Yes, it’s complex; yes, it’s time-consuming — but if there is a problem due to shortcomings in legislation or in the linking of a chain of criminal causation, the country should be told.

The endless silence is sapping the will of the people and having a corrosive effect on our democratic system.

Several people in America involved in the financial crisis of 2008 are serving jail terms.

Granted, Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty, thus saving the court’s time, but much work had to be done to bring him before the court.
In this country, by contrast, no file has even been presented to the DPP.

The general consensus among the people at large is a weary shrug of the shoulders and a fatalism that white-collar crime is never punished and that this is par for the course in Ireland.

There is a storm brewing beneath the surface that will shortly explode. The only thing that’s keeping the lid on it is the forlorn hope that some people in the future will be led away in handcuffs for destroying the economy and bankrupting future generations.

The Minister for Justice should give monthly bulletins on the progress of the different investigations and what the potential time span is for charges to be brought.

Talk about a whistleblower’s charter will not cut the mustard. If there is evidence of criminal conduct, then people need to face trial speedily.
The old maxim that justice delayed is justice denied is a two-way street.

It was coined with the rights of the defendant in mind but it could also be read as being a comfort to innocent bystanders that they would not have to wait in perpetuity for people to face prosecution.

This is not about revenge, it’s about decency and the rule of law. Attempts to spin the line that it is all behind us and so we should move on are dangerous.

The cancer that caused the patient to be put on life support needs to be cut out before the patient has any chance of healing.

Joseph Kiely
Donegal Town

That cancer is corruption within the administration of this country. That cancer is now so malignant that treatment (political reform) is pointless. Only radical surgery (revolution) will cure the patient.

Very serious allegations against politician goes mostly unnoticed

Ivor Callely used forged documents to claim almost €3,000 in Dail expenses.

This is the first line in a story by Luke Byrne in the Irish Mail on Sunday.

It’s an extremely serious allegation, even by the very low standards of honesty within the Irish body politic.

But even more disturbing is the very low key reaction by the mainstream media.

There was a very short interview with Fianna Fail TD Mary O’Rourke on RTEs News at One (1st report) in which she was asked some totally irrelevant questions.

Can the Taoiseach remove him from the Seanad? How damaging to politics is Callely’s continuing presence in the Seanad? Should he be thrown out of Fianna Fail?

No questions relating to political corruption, fraud, crime, police, arrest – no anger, no sense of outrage – just bland questions by the state broadcaster to a member of the most corrupt political party in the country who replied as if this was the first time she had heard of such behaviour.

RTEs flagship news broadcasts Six One and Nine News made no mention whatsoever of the allegations and as far as I can ascertain no report appeared on their website.

Today’s Irish Times and Irish Examiner merely regurgitated the RTE Mary O’Rourke interview.

Perhaps Michael Noonan could ask the Gardai to make the case a political priority?

Parish pump politics – Alive and well

From the Attic Archives.

Cork Examiner (?) 15th January 1992

Martin calls for change

Ireland’s financial and economic woes will never be solved until the country rids itself of its ‘unhealthy emphasis on parish pump politics’, Fianna Fail Deputy Michael Martin stated in a hard-hitting address in Cork last night.

Deputy Martin added that the current political, electoral and parliamentary systems waste too much time and need to be radically overhauled if the economy is to thrive.

His statements were made during an address to the Munster and Connaught Society of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

Well, we know what happened – the economy is dead but parish pump politics is alive and well.

Idiots and the tragedy of Ireland

Apologies in advance for the use of strong language in response to an editorial in last Saturday’s Irish Independent.

The piece must surely qualify as the stupidest, most ill informed editorial penned in recent years.

The editorial, responding to the ‘sensational’ revelation that bankers tell lies, needs to be analysed line by line to expose the full ignorance of the idiot who penned it.

The level of ambiguity displayed by the banks in the lead-up to the €440bn bailout by those taxpayers was finally laid bare before the Dail Public Accounts committee.

Only now is it beginning to impinge on the brain of this idiot that Irish banks are ‘ambiguous’.

At this rate it will take him decades to realise that the Irish financial sector is infested with ruthless scumbags who are supported and protected by politicians and an incompetent ‘regularity’ system that does exactly as it’s told – to do whatever it takes to protect the interests of the scumbags.

It is these scumbags, in collusion with a corrupt political system, who are principally responsible for the destruction of our country and the strongest word the idiot can muster is ‘ambiguous’?

It smacked of an attitude and era which fostered recklessness and risk-taking beyond belief.

Obviously, the idiot believes that the ‘attitude’ and the ‘era’ are behind us.

He obviously believes the bullshit that spews from the mouths of Cowen and Lenihan about the country/economy turning corners.

He believes the bullshit that spews from the mouths of politicians and so called regulators that a new era of financial regulation has dawned, that Irish citizens are now safe from the thieving maws of the scumbags who infest the financial sector.

This is a typical, narrow brained, Irish reaction to unpleasant realities.

Brutal realities can be safely ignored if they’re consigned to the past. And because they’re in the past they don’t require any action so everybody can ‘go forward’ into the future full of light and happiness.

Never mind that the same ruthless bankers are still in place, never mind that the same corrupt political system is still in place, never mind that there is, in reality, no financial regulation whatsoever in this country, never mind all that.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, finally, bankers have been found to be ‘ambiguous’ – halleluiah.

We should not forget what was divulged this week. Banks bluffed in public about the state of their finances. They were, at the very least, disingenuous in the way they presented their financial health.

The idiot obviously believes that Irish bankers getting caught bluffing in public is an event of earthquake proportions, that nothing like it has ever happened before, that such a ‘crime’ must never be forgotten.

Clearly, the idiot has lived his entire life in a hole on the Skellig Islands

In doing so, they (the bankers) increased exponentially the amount of liability taxpayers have had to guarantee. They left our senior politicians and civil servants with few options.

The depth of ignorance displayed by this statement is deeply disturbing. The idiot seems to be totally unaware of the part played by incompetent and/or corrupt politicians and civil servants in the destruction of our country.

He believes, apparently, that all this came upon the politicians and civil servants suddenly, that they, like the idiot, were completely unaware, over many decades, of the rampant criminality common within the Irish financial sector.

It hasn’t yet occurred to the idiot that the total absence of effective financial regulation is no accident.

Perhaps he believes that the Soviet style secrecy laws that provide water tight protection for the scumbags just suddenly dropped out of the sky leaving our politicians and civil servants with few options.

Perhaps the idiot thinks that, despite decades of fraud and criminality within the financial sector, there’s nothing odd about the fact that not a single official or institution has ever faced a judge; that it was only in 2008, after beggaring the nation; that a financial institution came under investigation?

Perhaps the idiot even believes that the current investigation is an actual real investigation and not the standard Irish strategy of bluff, delay and obfuscation that will, ultimately, result in a non effective/irrelevant report years down the line.

What we have learned, and no doubt have yet to discover, about how some lending institutions behaved should never, ever be forgotten. Not this year, not next, never.

What we have learned has already been forgotten. Ansbacher, DIRT and dozens of other scams, costing Irish taxpayers countless millions, have all been forgotten.

How many times have we heard a politician/banker tell the nation – the past is another country, we must move forward, must make sure this never happens again – blah, blah, blah. Apparently, the idiot believes it all.

It is to our eternal credit as a nation that we have, despite a deep-seated anger, knuckled down and borne the inevitable.

The impression given here is that the people of Ireland, realising the seriousness of the situation, have united in a patriotic movement to save the nation.

This, of course, is total bullshit. Irish citizens, since independence, have sold their votes to the local chancer in return for small favours. The local chancer was more than happy to buy power so cheaply and use it to his own advantage.

This buying and selling of votes/democracy has corrupted the administration of the country and resulted in a politically ignorant electorate.

Irish citizens are incapable of voting, thinking or acting in the national interest, they act solely in self-interest or in the interest of a particular group of which they belong.

If Irish citizens were politically educated, if they were aware that it is they and not their corrupt leaders who hold power, the current government would have been thrown out of power in 2008 when disaster struck.

The greatest indictment of Irish democracy is that this government and in particular Fianna Fail are still in power, still working in their own interests at the expense of the nation and Irish citizens just lie down and take it.

Yet when we look in on ourselves, there is a source of great hope. And it is to ourselves we must look, because we are the ones carrying this country on our shoulders.

I don’t know what circles this idiot operates in but my sense of the country is not one of hope but despair.

Yes, ordinary citizens are carrying the country on their shoulders but it is not by choice. Citizens are being forced to suffer and pay for the corruption, incompetence, greed and arrogance of the ruling elite while that same ruling elite are busily insulating themselves against the disaster.

Bitter lessons have been learned.

What lessons? Could this idiot provide the nation with a single example of a lesson learned?

The tragedy of Ireland is that its people are oppressed by their political ignorance to the point of docility when, in this time of national crisis, the complete opposite is required.

The people of Ireland need to do what the people of Iceland did – eject from office all those responsible for betraying the nation.

They need to educate themselves on what real democracy is all about so that if a politician or banker ever threatens the national interest again they will quickly find themselves behind bars.

The very last thing the Irish people need is the self-indulgent; everything will be all right if we just ignore reality, kind of drivel contained in this editorial.

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The idiot

Irish inability to call a spade a spade

The editorial in last week’s Sunday Business Post calling on Senator Callely to resign is a typical example of how difficult it is for Irish people to call a spade a spade.

On the one hand the writer states:

It is not the case that most or even many politicians are in Callely’s class when it comes to abusing the system of expenses and allowances.

This is immediately followed by:

But politicians of all parties have designed and exploited disgracefully a system of allowances and expenses which any private business would find outrageously loose.

What, I wonder; is the editor thinking when he writes ‘all parties have disgracefully exploited the system’ but only a minority are in ‘Callely’s class’ when it comes to abusing the same system?

Is the editor so naïve and ill informed that he believe that Callely’s behaviour is the worst ever and that while all other politicians are exploiting the system their behaviour is not as bad as Callely’s?

Does the editor really believe that only a minority of politicians are ripping off the system?

Here’s what a properly informed editor should have written.

Politicians of all parties have designed and exploited a system of allowances and expenses that enables them to legally defraud taxpayer’s of massive amount of money on an annual basis.

This contemptible behaviour will continue until somebody designs a system where this behaviour results in a jail sentence.

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Editor, Sunday Business Post