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Harney’s hair… Molloy’s non-appearance November 27, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

The Harney issue continues to fascinate. Did Mary Harney avail of $410 worth of treatments at a hair and nail salon close to Cape Canaveral on a trip with the worthies in Fás? A trip that saw her…

…[travel] to Orlando, Florida, at the expense of Fás in July 2004 in a party that included the former director general of Fás, Rody Molloy, and his wife, and the then secretary general of Ms Harney’s department, Paul Haran, and his wife.

Not according to her spokesman:

He said Ms Harney had three days of official engagements in Florida and as was her normal practice in her capacity as Minister “she availed of standard wash and blow dries in preparation for her official engagements”.

“The Minister is certain that this does not account for a total of $410. It is simply not the case that the Minister incurred a $410 bill for herself and any such insinuation is totally wrong.

Memory is a funny thing. Her old pal Bertie Ahern can attest to that. The Irish Times would have us believe that:

…persons staying at the Radisson Resort hotel at Cape Canaveral could avail of hair treatment services at the hotel and the bill was accrued in this way. Sources close to Ms Harney last night accepted that services she had received might have contributed to the $410 bill.

It’s admittedly small stuff, but standards depend on principles. And those who have been most vociferous in their condemnation of others should know better…Then look at the linkages. I’d forgotten that, as the IT notes with fastidious care:

…on the trip were Ms Harney’s husband, the then chairman of Fás, Brian Geoghegan, Ms Harney’s press secretary and her private secretary.

Ooops. L’etat, c’est eux… or somesuch. And the private sector too.

Still whether this makes her position as Minister of Health more precarious than it already is something of a moot point. She’s already on the way out. This may just speed up the process, although appallingly I note in the current Phoenix Annual that Noel Grealish is rumoured to have a deal with FF that he would get a Cabinet position in the next reshuffle. That seems entirely at odds with his latest statements that he will not be joining FF but remaining as an Independent in splendid isolation. On the other hand, should the call to sit at the Cabinet table come, who could blame him for making the transition to FF? Well, many actually.

And the man of the moment? Cometh the hour, exit the man. Rody Molloy, former director general of Fás until this week, did not grace the Public Accounts Committee with his presence. That he was paid from the public purse, and one of those who received a cool €643,000 in expenses over four years for promotion of the agency in the US appears to have troubled him not in the slightest.

Can’t blame Bernard Allen, chairman of the PAC, being a little disappointed…

“I find it incredible that people think they can just ride away into the sunset and leave the investigation into the expenditure of taxpayers money handicapped,” he said.

But we’ve seen this pattern before with Tribunals, etc. What now of Brian Cowen’s encomium yesterday on Molloy when he suggested that:

Mr Molloy did the honourable thing by resigning and that he had been a good public servant.

Here’s the thing though. If it were thought that this might provide what some term an ‘educative moment’ in Irish politics about the public/semi-state sector, and one that would validate the noises being made by the centre-right in this state, well it’s certainly shedding some light on some interesting aspects of our political life. But only in so far as it demonstrates how such bodies are often run as financial support structures for a small group within them and how those who preach a rugged individualism and an economic independence from the state all too often appear to live by entirely different rules.

Now that’s what I call an education.


1. CL - November 28, 2008

F.O’Toole’s excellent piece in the I.T the other day shows clearly what Harney represents in Irish political economy-

“Predation:the systematic abuse of public institutions for private profit or, equivalently, the systematic undermining of public protections for the benefit of private clients”-James K. Galbraith in The Predator State.


2. Jim Monaghan - November 28, 2008

I have no time for Harney. But a friend once said to me of junkets, at least you can get at the politicians but what about the senior officials.
We have as part of the ruling class/caste a web of certain professions and senior public officials who arrange everything to suit certain interests.
For example the sweetheart deal for doctors which nearly scuppered the medical cars for over 70s.The ridicolous markup for pharmacists. The featherbedded contracts for roads etc. The debacle of the tolls roads where they walked away with incredible mulitiples of the original investment.
We have not a progressive bourgeois class but a caste of parasites ruling us.
Also if state enterprise was socialism then the prisons are an example. I think Marx said something like this. There are more than the dividend way of getting benefit out of a company as the controversy mentioned above implies.


3. Hugh Murphy - December 1, 2008

Mary Harney’s hair-do or lack of it is just a media red herring. Why is the Trade Union Watchdog {or should I say lapdog} McLoone, not being castigated for allowing the shameful waste of Public Money by individuals at FAS.

Of course McLoone knows it’ll all blow over – just as long as he keeps his mouth shut. When he does raise his head he’ll rattle a few sabres to keep the fooled fooled.

The only time I saw McLoone speak was at the March To The Bottom Meeting, organise by De Rossa during the Irish Ferries debacle.

Jack O’Connor was the first speaker – and before he could open his mouth I attacked him for being corrupt and of covering up corruption. The champagne socialists and caviar lefties listened in silence while I listed the anti worker behaviour of Jack’s union at the Belfast Docks and how they’d betrayed Larkin and Connolly.

To be fair to Jack – he was embarrassed and stuttered his way through his prepared speech, which now seemed pretty hollow.

However, when McLoone, who was the second speaker, took to the podium it was as if I hadn’t said a word. The champagne guzzlers and caviar slurpers loved McLoone, {come to think of it, the room was probable well packed with his fellow travellers, literally}.

What McLoone did not do – and it was a betrayal of the working class who pay the wages of union officials – was to instigate an investigation of union officials who feather their own nest on the backs of the workers.

But of course… how could he…? He’d have to investigate himself.

Maybe some of the so-called socialists at that meeting my like to comment on their silence…?


4. WorldbyStorm - December 1, 2008

Hugh, I agree that workers representation (or Union representation which may or may not be the same thing) on Fás was not great. It’s a bit difficult though to answer your final question since I wasn’t there.


5. Hugh Murphy - December 2, 2008

Couldn’t agree more. Union representation nowadays is Employer representation.

At Belfast Docks we knew this only too well. Not only did our union persecute and sack union members for the employers – but the Union Chairman, who told us we didn’t need a Contract of Employment – because our employers were decent – negotiated a Decasualisation Scheme which was to give us jobs for life, turned Traitor and joined the employers as Labour Controller. AND he remained a member of the union.

No doubt Jack O’Connor would like to see in operation, here, a Joint Disciplinary Committee, similar to the one his union operated in Belfast, with the employers – to fine and sack any troublesome union members.

After eight years the employers tired of sacking individual dockers and sacked everyone – and re employed the most docile on a casual basis.

Because he won’t investigate the union in Belfast – he must agree with their persecution of the Dockers, which in turn gives a valuable insight into his opinions of workers in the Republic.

SIPTU should join IBEC and stop pretending.


6. Between Boston and Berlin » Blog Archive » For more on Fas… - December 2, 2008
7. Brendan Coffey - December 2, 2008

In the rush to condemn Rody Molloy for his resignation people seem to forget that when you resign in a storm of controversy the attending media coverage forms part of the punishment. Molloy is the only one so far to have lost his job in all of this, his contract is a matter for an employee and his employer.
The time to scrutinise the details of employment contracts is when they are entered into. We seem to forget that the journalist who ran this story, Shane Ross, gets a fairly fat sum of money in salary and expenses from his role as a Senator – a job which involves what exactly?

So far Molloy has had photographers outside his house and pictures of that house in the national newspapers along with detailed profiles of his social life in the Daily Mail. For a set of media that are signed up to the Press Council, they quickly forget about drawing lines when it comes to hanging their latest scapegoat.


8. Hugh Murphy - December 2, 2008

The fact that none of the so called lefties will comment on my posts about the silence of Trade Union Leaders – McLoone and O’Connor, speaks volumes.

Obviously, they’re climbing the TU ladder by sucking up. Maybe they tell themselves when they get into power, the workers will be better treated and not seen simply as their salary fodder? Who knows what lies they tell themselves – probably the same ones that McLoone and O’Connor lived by – until they got a pot belly, a golf handicap and the employers as friends?

Let me hear the Left defend these people! Silence is not only acceptance – but means they are more corrupt than the corrupt. At the very least why is no-one calling for McLoone’s resignation over the FAS scandal? Has anyone even asked him why he allowed it.

Surely the workers of Ireland are entitled to better than this?

They do.

McLoone should not be allowed resign he should be sacked. As the recession bites deeper and more and more jobs are lost Siptu and Ibec will sing from the same hymn sheet – that they are trying to save jobs. Only when workers get hungry enough will they blame the real culprits – and when the union officials are shamed and sacked it should be without pensions or golden handshakes.

Let the employers reward them for years of loyal service with seats on the Boards of companies – OR has that already happened?


9. Daniel De Foe - December 5, 2008

Hi Hughie,

Good to see you’re still hammering away at the unoins. Was talking to Dave [your to top sellers of the dockers voice] Yer dead right about Macloone hes just like all the rest. they line there pockets aat tthe expense of the workers. Im in Mulldoons as im sure you can tell from the writmng,

Davy came acros your posts by acident. saw the one about leaving dockers voices into line hall libra firsty. he says ar cedar louneg in sane unino as macloone cause theyve hiddden away what yiv said.

nest time yer up gives a bell caues its davys round.


10. WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2008

“he says ar *cedar louneg in sane unino as macloone cause theyve hiddden away* what yiv said.”


Another to add to the troll list.


11. Daniel De Foe - December 6, 2008

By all means add it to your troll list. I am now sober and no longer a troll. You and the apologists for Peter McLoone and the other corrupt Trade Union leaders are always sober and will always be cover up Zombies


12. WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2008

Sorry, you’re saying I and other here are apologists? I’ve been more than happy for Hugh to post comments here uncensored. And that was my gripe with your post number 9. You’ll notice that Hugh and I were in agreement earlier in this thread. Do you actually read the stuff here or do you simply decide to categorise sight unseen?


13. Patricia McCafferty - April 6, 2009

The corruption apple does not fall far from the tree when it comes to the McLoones. Peter McLoone and the FAS corruption and his brother Michael mcLoone the Donegal County Council Manager and the planning corruption. Well with Tanaiste Mary Coughlan on their side these men will never get a kick in the arse. If there was ever a time for this County to save money, give these two men and indeed the useless Mary Coughlan a one way ticket to the moon.

check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8mff9CvF7k

As a Independent candidate for Donegal County Council, I will make sure any corruption is exposed and the people are named.


14. Seamus Burke - July 29, 2009

i agree with you Patricia, concerning the McCloones, i am annoyed that our Country / County is not regulated honestly, i have experience of the wasted monies by the Donegal Council, as i worked for them.

You only have to look at our infrasture, i predict if we dont build sewage treatment plants in all towns soon, will pay dearly with contamanation through the County.

When you Build Houses, you must also accomodate that with Modern day Sewage discharge, not the current way, by inserting septic Tanks. Brussels would not be too happy, and look at the amount of work it would create. A Dubai phrase: ( Build and they will come ).


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