Morality – Haughey style

Fianna Fail TD Sean Haughey has asked the Bank of Ireland to hand over its historic former headquarters as a ‘thank you’ to the Irish people for the multi-billion bank bail-out (Sunday Independent).

Given the economic and banking crisis, I would strongly suggest that the time is opportune to negotiate with the Bank of Ireland for the transfer of the building to State ownership, given the bank’s undoubted indebtedness, both moral and financial, to the Irish taxpayer.

said Mr Haughey.

A Haughey talking about moral and financial indebtedness?

Perhaps, while he’s in this rare moral frame of mind, Haughey could arrange for the return of some of the millions that his criminal father robbed from the state?

The criminal Haughey speaks from the grave

I see the corrupt Haughey had an article in last week’s Sunday Independent on the origins of Social Partnership and the part it played in Ireland’s (so called) financial recovery in the 1980s.

Written shortly before he died Haughey, predictably, heaps praise upon himself for saving the country. He ends the article with;

I thought it important now to recall the dire situation in which the economy was 20 years ago in 1986 and from which it has reached by the determined and patriotic combination I put together of government, trade unions, employers and farmers which, I am glad to say, has continued ever since. I hope it will long continue.

No doubt if the criminal was alive today he would be claiming that the disaster facing the Irish people was all the fault of Lehman Brothers, (just like his incompetent successor Bertie Ahern) that it had nothing to do with his incompetence, greed and corruption.

Never in Ireland

Reading an article in the Irish Independent recently about the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi I was struck by the similarities between him and the corrupt Haughey.

Liar, dodgy planning, adulterer, manipulator of power for his own ends, loved by many despite his corruption, admired by the media for his Houdini like political escapes, rich and does what he likes.

It was only towards the end of the article that I spotted something that the corrupt Haughey never had to worry about. Apparently, once in a generation the Italian people rise up in furious indignation against injustice, oppression or corruption.

We’ll never see that in Ireland.

Dermot Desmond's chicken comes home to roost

Apparently, billionaire businessman Dermot Desmond has lost a substantial amount of money because of the collapse in Bank of Ireland shares. He is not, at they say, a happy man and expressed his unhappiness (through a representative of course, Mr. Desmond doesn’t like to mix with the peasants) at the recent EGM in Dublin.

“Failures at all levels in the Irish financial system have resulted in the destruction in international and domestic confidence in Ireland. The global situation did not create the Irish property boom or subsequent bust.

There are far too many apologists from within the financial services sector who all too quick to that excuse – ‘We’re caught up in a global crisis not of our making’ – Such analysis is deeply erroneous.

In advance of any initiatives such as is proposed here today fundamental decisions on other matters must be taken, not least, how the bank is to be managed into the future.

It is difficult to understand the justification for allowing those who have caused the bank to be in this current mess to remain in situ and be trusted with getting it out of the mess.”

Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Mr. Desmond would become one of the victims of how things are done in our banana republic.

He was a very strong ‘financial supporter’ and friend of the corrupt Haughey making substantial payments to him when he was Taoiseach. At the Moriarty Tribunal Mr. Desmond was strongly critical of those who questioned his ‘generosity’ to Haughey.

And of course the destruction of international and domestic confidence in Ireland that Mr. Desmond speaks of is almost entirely down to the corrupt actions of Haughey and his cronies. He was one of the principal architects of the corruption that has infected every level of Irish society but in particular the financial sector.

Ah yes, here’s one chicken I’m only too delighted to see coming home to roost.

Trusting Haughey; like trusting a pickpocket

Even those who supported and bankrolled the corrupt Haughey knew that he was a gangster who couldn’t be trusted as we see from this extract of the Moriarty Tribunal report.

Clearly, Michael Smurfit knew that handing over a very valuable painting to a man of Haughey’s flawed pedigree was akin to asking a pickpocket to mind his wallet.

Moriarty Tribunal report

7-178 Dr. Smurfit also informed the Tribunal that in 1990, the Smurfit Group made a personal gift to Mr. Haughey of a painting by Jack B Yeats entitled ‘‘The Forge’’, in recognition of Mr. Haughey’s assuming office at the Council of Ministers on Ireland’s assumption of the residency of the European Union. At that time, the Smurfit Group made a presentation to Mr. Haughey of a painting by Sir John Lavery of the raising of the flag at Aras an Uachtara´ n. This latter presentation was a gift to the Irish Nation by the Smurfit Group and the Tribunal understands that it is currently hanging in the State Collection.

7-179 Dr. Smurfit recalled that on the day that he had an appointment with Mr. Haughey at Government Buildings to present the Lavery painting to him, on behalf of the State, he decided on the spur of the moment to make a personal gift in the form of the Yeats painting. The presentation was made during business hours in Government Buildings, and only Dr. Smurfit and Mr. Haughey were present. Dr. Smurfit recalled that he had made the presentation to Mr. Haughey personally, subject to the caveat that he did not expect ‘‘the painting to be sold the following day’’.

As I recall, Smurfit, who had hoped that the painting would be retained as a family heirloom, was shocked to learn that soon after receiving it Haughey did in fact sell it on for a knockdown price.

The Haughey's: A renegade family

Katherine Rodgers upset many Fianna Fail supporters when she wrote the following in the Star newspaper recently.

“Security was beefed up for the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis this weekend, only to be expected at a convention of the biggest criminals in the country.”

Seems like a pretty reasonable comment to me but Dick O’Leary, head of a Cumainn founded by the corrupt Haughey, was angry.

“It’s a scurrilous remark and is 100% wrong.” “Mr. Haughey did an awful lot of good for the country; he’s the greatest Irishman that ever walked.”

(Liveline, Tuesday 2nd March).

Later, the discussion moved on to the sale of the corrupt Haughey’s art collection. A caller wanted to know if Mrs. Haughey would be keeping the proceeds of the sale or making a donation to charity.

Joe Duffy, who obviously has a soft spot for Mrs. Haughey, said:

“Even if it was going to Mrs. Haughey, Mrs. Haughey of all people in this country is in most people’s, sorry, in everyone’s eyes totally above reproach and indeed much admired for her dignity.”

So, not just some, not just most but everyone in the country thinks Mrs. Haughey is above reproach and is a woman of great dignity. Well, here’ one citizen who takes the complete opposite view.

In my opinion the Haughey family, including Mrs. Haughey, are renegade citizens.

She was happy to live off the proceeds of her husband’s corruption and obviously had no concern whatsoever about the huge damage done to Ireland and its people by that corruption.

When the Moriarty Tribunal finally exposed he husband for the criminal he was she and her family contemptuously rejected the findings of this agency which represented the Irish people.

A sizeable percentage of the monies now in the hands of this renegade family are the proceeds of criminal activities by the corrupt Haughey. His mansion, for example, was sold for an estimated €45 million.

Ireland will never rid itself of the disease of corruption for so long as people like Joe Duffy are happy to bow and scrape before ruthless and greedy people like the Haughey’s.

Copy to:
Joe Duffy

PDs legacy

The legacy of the PDs was discussed on Saturday View. Former PD minister Bobby Molloy said;

“One of the most important things we did was having the tribunal established to investigate the beef industry and all the stuff that has been revealed following that and other tribunals.

None of that would have happened were it not for the fact that we were absolutely adamant there must be an independent judicial inquiry.”

Molloy is right in his claim that the PDs were responsible for the establishment of the Beef Tribunal but when the report was finally published and it became crystal clear that it was a whitewash his party fell into line with everybody else in sticking their heads in the sand.

Every tribunal since has seen the same reaction. Massive corruption revealed but no action taken. Everybody congratulates themselves for doing a wonderful job, the media analyse the report for a week and all is then forgotten until the next investigation.

It will be the same when the present batch of tribunals comes to an end – no action will be taken.

Molloy related an interesting story about how he and O’Malley forced the corrupt Haughey to establish the Beef Tribunal. Apparently, Haughey at first refused outright but when the PDs stood their ground Haughey offered an enquiry by the Attorney General. Again, the PDs stood their ground until finally Haughey gave in and established a full judicial enquiry as demanded.

It was this kind of integrity and courage that made the PDs and it was the abandonment of such principles by Mary Harney that destroyed the party.

Good news from the navy

I got some good news from a navy friend of mine last night.

During the week he overheard a conversation in which the commanding officer of the navy expressed anger about my letter criticising the involvement of a State ship in honouring the corrupt Haughey.

Apparently, he wanted to know if there was anything that could be done about this letter writer. He was informed that as Mr. Sheridan was no longer a serving member of the naval service, there was nothing that could be done.

I wrote last week that my letter hadn’t been published, I’m delighted to report that I was mistaken in that belief.

Honouring the corrupt Haughey

Every year the former corrupt politician Charlie Haughey is honoured by the organisers of Dingle Regatta and every year I write a letter of protest to the main national newspapers.

This year, for the first time, my letter wasn’t published. Perhaps the memory of the crimes that this man committed are beginning to fade or perhaps the editors thought my letter was too strong. I think myself it was perfectly reasonable.

There’s not a great deal that can be done about the annual farce in Dingle where the discredited former Taoiseach Charles Haughey is honoured by the organisers of the town’s regatta.

It is, however, a national scandal and a slap in the face to all compliant taxpayer’s that a State ship, the LE Orla, formed an integral part of the ceremonies for this major tax cheat.

Yours etc.
Anthony Sheridan