Labour Senator Denis Landy: Not fit to be a public representative

Labour Senator Denis Landy is not a fit person to be a public representative. Not only is he a political coward but he has no respect whatsoever for the democratic institutions of our country.

It was therefore grotesquely hilarious to hear him whining (Morning Ireland, 10th item) about democracy when water protesters gave him a hard time recently during a protest outside our parliament, an institution which he holds in absolute comtempt.

Here’s why Landy is not a fit person to be a public representative.

In July 2013 Landy announced to the media that he had been effectively offered a bribe by a political person within the confines of the Oireachtas.

Despite the fact that this is one of the most serious crimes in political life, Landy refused to identify the person who offered him the bribe. He also refused to report the matter to the Gardai or Oireachtas authorities.

Incredibly, the Labour Party responded by saying the matter was a personal issue for Landy.

Just let me repeat that. The official policy of the Labour Party on bribing politicians is – it’s a personal matter for the politician involved.

Nothing to do with crime, law enforcement, the courts, prison or any stuff like that, stuff that’s the norm in functional democracies.

I made a formal complaint on the matter to the Gardai. Two years later, the investigation is still ‘ongoing’.

After a great deal of resistence I also managed to lodge a complaint against Landy with the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Eireann.

The response of this Committee was just as disgraceful as Landy’s cowardly behaviour.

The Committee, chaired by Fine Gael TD Deirdre Clune, decided to discontinue the investigation principally because the coward Landy flatly refused to attend for questioning. Not only did he run away from his obligations as a public representative, he also hid behind his solicitor in all dealings with the Committee.

The final confirmation that Ireland is a banana republic came in a warning to me from the Committee that it was an offence to disclose information on the matter.

In other words, say nothing to the media – or else?

The water protesters, who rightly gave Landy a hard time in the recent protest, have more democratic principle and integrity in their little fingers than he will ever accumulate in a lifetime of pretending to be a principled public representative.

Copy to:

Labour senator Denis Landy is a traitor and a political coward

Labour senator Denis Landy is a traitor and a political coward.

In July 2013 he announced to the country that he had, effectively, been offered a bribe by a political person within the confines of the Oireachtas.

Despite the fact that this is probably one of the most serious crimes that a politician can become involved in, Landy refused to identify the person who offered him the bribe. He also refused to report the matter to the Gardai or Oireachtas authorities.

Landy is a member of a regime that promised a ‘democratic revolution’ in response to decades of political incompetence, arrogance and corruption.

In other words, he must be very aware of the damage done to Ireland and its people by irresponsible and corrupt politicians and so must also be aware of the urgent need for current politicians to stand up to the plate in order to root out the rot that has infected the body politic.

Landy’s failure to do the right thing, particularly in these times of great hardship and economic danger, makes him a traitor.

The official reaction to Landy’s bribery claims and his irresponsible decision to do nothing was entirely precictable. The Gardai showed no interest, Oireacthas officials ignored the matter.

But the reaction of the Labour Party, that the issue was a personal matter for Landy, demonstrated just how morally bankrupt our political system has become.

Labour’s disgraceful reaction makes the party just as traitorous as Landy himself.

In an attempt to force Landy to account for his (non) actions I made a formal complaint through the Clerk of the Seanad to the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Eireann.

Senator Landy, a so-called public representative, refused to attend or co-operate with the committee in any form whatsoever.

He responded to all requests from the committee from behind the apron strings of his legal team.

In other words, in addition to being a traitor Senator Landy is also a political coward.

The behaviour and ultimate decision arrived at by the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Eireann on this matter was just as disgraceful as the behaviour of Landy and the Labour Party.

I’ll be coming back to that later.

Copy to:
Senator Landy
Labour Party
Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Eireann.

Senator Landy snubs Seanad inquiry

I was delighted that the Sunday Times reported on my continuing efforts to bring Labour senator Denis Landy to account over his refusal to act on bribery allegations he made in July of last year.

Here’s the article in full. I’ll be coming back later with more comment.

By Mark Tighe

A Labour senator who claimed he was offered a bribe to miss a vote has refused to co-operate with a Seanad inquiry into the matter.

Last July, Denis Landy, a Tipperary based senator, told the Sunday Independent he had been offered flights and three night’s accommodation in New York if he missed a vote, and that the offer was made “in seriousness rather than jest.”

The senator said he turned down the offer, which he believed was an effort to defeat the Government on the abolition of the Seanad.

Landy has refused to elaborate on the identity of the ‘shadowy political figure’ who made the offer.

Anthony Sheridan, who runs the blog, subsequently made a comlaint to the Gardai and the Seanad Committee on Members’ Interests about the bribe claim.

He complained Landy had failed to report the incident to the authorites or reveal who allegedly offered the bribe.

The Seanad Committee sent Mr. Sheridan the results of the investigation last month.

Deirdre Clune, the Fine Gael chair of the Committtee, said it had written to Landy last November and he responded on January 15 through a firm of solicitors asking for documentation about the complaint.

The Committee then asked Landy to attend but his solicitor replied that he did not wish to. After taking legal advice the Comittee decided to discontinue its investigation. It noted a complaint had also been filed with the Gardai.

Clune’s letter to Sheridan asked him to be aware of Section 35 of the Ethics in Public Office Act, which says disclosing information obtained under the Act is an offence.

I interpret this as a not very subtle warning to me to make sure the Committee’s findings are not passed on to the media.” Sheridan said.

“Senator Landy’s refusal to co-operate with the Committee is contemptible. In a functional democracy he would be answering questions in a court of law.”

He said it was “risible” that the Committee could conclude “without any apparent embarrassment, that it does not have the power to investigate an alleged breach of its code by one of its members.

He said the Labour Party’s response to the incident was astonishing.

The party has previously said the incident is a matter for the senator himself. Last week its spokesman did not return calls. Landy said he had “no comment.”

After he made the bribe claim, four senators called on Landy to explain himself.

David Norris told the Seanad he wanted the truth.

The corruption must be exposed and if it was the last thing the House did, it would be a service to the people of Ireland,” the independent senator said.

Maurice Cummins, the Fine Gael leader in the Seanad, also called for Landy to report the matter to the Gardai.

I hope this matter, if not already reported, will be reported immediately by senator Landy.”

Senate: Back to (ab)normal

Letter in today’s Irish Times.

Reforming the Seanad


Thomas O’Connor assures us that “the people will appease their appetite for change at next year’s local and European elections” (January 7th).

I would not hold my breath if I were him. When given an opportunity to get rid of the expensive talking shop for the elite called the Seanad they turned it down.

That has continued a debate on the Seanad that gets more removed from reality by the day. First we have high-profile people, who supported its retention during the referendum, opposing the “reforms” that were part of the retention campaign.

Then we had a Government Minister, who supported the campaign to abolish it, proposing “reform” of an institution that during the campaign was “irreformable”.

Since it just means electing another Dáil, dominated by the same political parties, the widely canvassed election of Seanad members by universal suffrage does not constitute reform.

The choice for “reform” of the Seanad boils down, therefore, to two options. Turn it into another Dáil or leave it as an expensive, powerless talking shop for the elite and their cronies.

Yours, etc,

Anthony Leavy

The Senate: We had our chance

Letter in today’s Irish Examiner

We had our chance to get rid of Seanad

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his coalition government will, by now, have recovered from the effects of the ‘wallop’ that they received from the electorate on the occasion of the referendum to abolish the Seanad.

Seanad personnel, too, can now rest easy, safe in the knowledge that for the foreseeable future they can continue laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of a country in the grip of bankruptcy. The real victim of the ‘wallop’ was the country and its people as a whole, not the Government.

It follows, that recovery in the case of the latter category will take considerably longer than it took in the case of our rulers mentioned above.

When it came to marking ballot papers, the popular idea of getting rid of that useless, expensive, institution did not seem to be of any importance any longer. Likewise, dispensing with the services of overpaid, over-pensioned senators was shelved. Instead of concentrating on what was best for the country and its people a majority of the electorate decided upon a futile, irresponsible course of action to cut off their own noses to spite their faces.

I can think of only one reasonable rational reason why anybody would vote in the way that the majority did and it is this; the democratic system allows the electorate to make a fool of themselves every now and then and so they decided to do just that.

In my view, those who voted in this way relinquish the right to blame Government for anything henceforth.

Pat Daly
Co Cork

Update on Senator Landy's bribery allegations

I received a letter on 11 October last from the Committee on Members Interests Seanad Eireann advising me that the Committee had received my complaint against Senator Landy under the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001.

Today, 28 October, Gardai at Pearse Street Garda Station Dublin contacted me regarding my complaint against Senator Landy.

The Senate: What needs to be done

Excellent letter in today’s Irish Times.

Reforming the Seanad

A chara,

Diarmaid Ferriter’s article, “Referendum defeat does not have to spell trouble” (Opinion, October 12th) needs to be challenged. Having given us a history lesson on past referendums, he concludes his article by implying that the onus for reform of the Seanad should fall on Enda Kenny.

In fairness to Mr Kenny, he believed that the Seanad was unreformable, as I did and still do. Why then should the onus for reform be placed on him?

Surely it should fall on those who passionately campaigned for Seanad reform, namely Democracy Matters and Fianna Fáil?

It is now up to them to come up with an acceptable reform package and, if needs be, to persuade the Government to put this package before the citizens of this State in a referendum.

Mr Ferriter also stated, erroneously in my opinion, that not reforming the Seanad “will be seen as a result that prompted a determination to maintain the status quo”. Not correct.

When I voted Yes to abolish the Seanad on October 4th, I voted to change the status quo and for a new beginning in Irish political life.

Those who voted No voted for the maintenance of the status quo and for the continued existence of that elitist, anachronistic political institution.

Nowhere on the ballot paper was the word “reform” mentioned.

In relation to reform, the idea of giving a Seanad vote to all third-level graduates is being suggested.

This again is an elitist, segregationist, non-democratic suggestion, in my opinion. So those who never get the privilege of attending a third-level institution don’t get to cast their vote.

Regarding “real” reform, may I suggest the following:

1. Reduce the number of senators from 60 to 30.

2. Pay each a salary of 50 per cent of a TD’s salary.

3. Give them no expenses, allowances, free parking or perks. Let them commute to their place of work like everybody else.

4. First preference given to young, able, bright, unemployed people who have a vested interest in creating a new Ireland for themselves and others.

5. Introduce a culture of accountability and responsibility where non-performing and low-attending senators are brought to book and moved on.

6. Allow no cronyism, no gombeenism and absolutely no nepotism.

Lets’s make a fresh start and begin to remove the barriers between the “haves” and the “have nots” in our society for once and for all.

Future generations will thank us for it.

Is mise,


Dublin 15.

Promoting O'Rourke's rag in the Senate

Mary O’Rourke’s memoir Just Mary was published on Friday 19 October 2012.

Seanad Eireann closes on a Friday and doesn’t reopen until the following Tuesday.

So it wasn’t until Tuesday 23 October that O’Rourke’s good friend Senator Leyden got the opportunity to cynically abuse this arm of government to promote her book.

The farce began with a comment from Senator D’Arcy. It is likely that Leyden arranged for D’Arcy to raise the matter so that he could then reply.

Leyden claims he had no intention of raising the matter. This, in my opinion, is probably a lie.

The cynical promotion of O’Rourke’s rag was raised around discussion on such matters as patronage of schools, food labeling and the war in Syria.

I’ve extracted the usual waffle on these matters leaving just the political bullshit surrounding O’Rourke’s book.

Senator D’Arcy: I read a review by Geraldine Kennedy of Mary O’Rourke’s new book and I see a full chapter of the book is devoted to Senator Terry Leyden. I am looking forward to that bedtime reading.

Senator Norris: In the interest of balance, could Senator D’Arcy advertise my book while he is at it? It is far better written. The Senator is not mentioned in it.

Senator Leyden: The Leas-Chathaoirleach should not be too severe with me. I have had bad experiences over the years. They are mentioned in the book.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The clock is ticking.

Senator Leyden: I thank Senator Jim D’Arcy for his kind words. Mrs. Mary O’Rourke’s autobiography is entitled Just Mary. In the book she mentioned the Seanad and the esteemed Clerk and Clerk Assistant, noting their professionalism, which is much recognised.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: It is not appropriate for us to discuss Mary O’Rourke’s book.

Senator Leyden: It has been mentioned. The Leas-Chathaoirleach allowed Senator D’Arcy….The section in question is devoted to Charles J. Haughey. It refers to a Christmas visit to Abbeville.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: If Senators wish to do so, they can read the book. It is not appropriate to discuss it now.

Senator Leyden: Is the Leas-Chathaoirleach recommending it?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator has 20 seconds left. Has he any matter to raise besides these frivolities?

Senator Leyden: I had no intention of raising that matter at all.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator has wasted one minute and 15 seconds.

Senator Leyden: The day is long.

The (political) day is indeed long.

And all those good Irish citizens who voted for the retention of this dysfunctional institution should hang their heads in shame for inflicting these political dinosaurs on the rest of us for many years to come.

For so long as we keep talking we do not have to face the reality of what we are as a nation

When scandal, corruption, arrogance and incompetence raise their ugly heads in Ireland, as they frequently do, they are dealt with by talk.

The entire nation engages in endless discussion until the matter is, quite literally, talked out of existence or until another scandal comes along, as frequently happens, and changes the topic under discussion.

The one thing that must never be done, and is never done, is to actually deal with the matter in hand.

To do so would require facing the reality of what we are as a nation.

In a corrupt state that is not possible.

Michael Lowry and Mick Wallace, for example, have been immersed in scandal after scandal in recent times but remain members of our parliament.

They are still, for the most part, seen as fine upstanding public representative and are still treated with the utmost respect by most of the media.

The only response to the activities of these men has been talk, talk, talk and more talk.

Or take the recent scandal surrounding the penalty points system.

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that something very rotten has occurred here yet all we do is talk, talk, talk until the matter is forgotten or superseded by another scandal.

The reason for this situation is simple. The corrupt political/administrative system, for so long as it holds power, will never allow anything more than talk – actual action in response to scandal and corruption will never become an option.

But then, amidst all the endless talk, a never to be repeated historical fluke occurred when Enda Kenny handed power to ordinary people to take direct action against the corrupt system.

They could have, literally with a stroke of a pencil, removed one of the supporting planks of the corrupt system and quite possibly triggered the collapse of the entire rotten structure.

Tragically, the opportunity was lost and we now find ourselves back in the land of endless talk.

Reams have already been written outlining a million suggestions for political reform. Television and radio stations have been invaded by hordes of politicians, commentators and journalists eager to broadcast their ideas for a brand new political system, a brand new Ireland – but it’s all just talk, talk, talk.

Some may accuse me of being too dramatic about all of this but to those I would point to an article in yesterday’s Irish Independent by former Fianna Fail politician Mary O’Rourke.

In the article O’Rourke, who was leader of the Senate from 2002 to 2007, advises the current leader, Maurice Cummins (FG) on how best to reform the institution.

Read my report on reform from nine years ago in 2004 for some ideas and implement the wishes of the people as expressed 34 years ago in the 1979 Senate referendum, she advises.

At moments like this I place my head in my hands and despair for Ireland and its people.

Choose: The wolf or the mouse

The choice was straightforward.

Give the mouse Enda a fright with a mild boo or slash a leg off the wolf of arrogance, incompetence and corruption.

The people chose to boo at the mouse, he’ll be over the fright in a few days.

Meanwhile the wolf, safe again in his lair, sips champagne and contemplates his next meal.