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A deafening silence from Government TDs on the something someone said that someone else doesn’t want anyone to know about… and what of their views on parliamentary privilege… or… May 29, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.

And now the Oireachtas weighs in:

Oireachtas sources say they believe “standing orders were not breached and privilege was not abused” by Ms Murphy while moving a Private Members’ Bill through the Dáil last night.


Oireachtas sources also said they believe the current situation whereby the contents of a Dáil speech are not being reported to be unprecedented.

Why is it not being reported? How many citizens of this state would be so blessed?

The point was made to me this morning by a friend that it is long past time that a Government TD or two or four or perhaps the whole lot of them came out and upheld the principle of parliamentary privilege. Most telling that they haven’t as of yet.

Did you know the Dáil wasn’t sitting next week? I didn’t. But I think all of us would support the following from Micheál Martin looking for a recall… and credit where credit is due to him for this:

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has called for the Dáil to be recalled in the light of what he claimed had been the silencing of media outlets in relation to comments about businessman Denis O’Brien by Independent TD Catherine Murphy yesterday.

I think it is the responsibility of all TDs of whatever stripe to make noise about this both inside and outside the Chamber.

By the way, check this out from ‘a spokesman for Mr. O’Brien’.

James Morrissey questioned the accuracy of what Ms Murphy had said, maintaining Dáil privilege had an important role but could not be abused to have falsehoods misrepresented as facts.
Mr Morrisey said a core principle of a democracy is the right of every individual to their good name and reputation and it was important that people “stand up for democracy inside the Dáil and outside the Dáil”.
Hmmm… And:

Mr Morrissey said if there is wrongdoing involved it should be examined and investigated, but until then Mr O’Brien was entitled to his good name.
He also pointed out Mr O’Brien’s record of job creation in Ireland.

Which is relevant in what particular way?

This isn’t bad either, as Tomboktu noted in comments elsewhere:

The National Union of Journalists has criticised the media for not publishing the statement Ms Murphy made in the Dáil last night.
NUJ Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley warned that faith in the media would be “shattered if proprietors and editors did not challenge threats to parliamentary democracy and freedom of expression”.
Mr Dooley said: “It is gravely concerning that media organisations felt constrained from publishing the comments, made under Dáil privilege, by Deputy Catherine Murphy concerning financial matters relating to Mr Denis O’Brien and his alleged relationship with IBRC.
“The fact that the national public service broadcaster was constrained from broadcasting material freely available on the website of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and that other print and broadcasting organisations felt similarly constrained, raises fundamental questions about our parliamentary democracy and the right of the media to report freely on parliamentary proceedings.

By the way, for those that are interested here’s the wiki page on the issue…

And here’s a pretty good summing up from the Supreme Court of Canaada:

“Privilege” in this context denotes the legal exemption from some duty, burden, attendance or liability to which others are subject. It has long been accepted that in order to perform their functions, legislative bodies require certain privileges relating to the conduct of their business. It has also long been accepted that these privileges must be held absolutely and constitutionally if they are to be effective; the legislative branch of our government must enjoy a certain autonomy which even the Crown and the courts cannot touch.

Like any such mechanism it can operate incorrectly, but the principle appears to me to be of such compelling importance – and indeed the reality of its use is that it has overwhelmingly been a positive rather than negative – it is well worth upholding.

Meanwhile as also mentioned in comments the Guardian carries a good piece on the issue. Comments under it were disabled after being open for a while apparently.

In the late evening, the nightly discussion programme on TV3, Tonight with Vincent Browne, was presented (because Browne is on holiday) by Ger Colleran, editor of INM’s Irish Daily Star.
He read a statement from TV3’s management stating that there must be no discussion about Murphy’s comments following letters from O’Brien’s lawyers.
So there it is. The owner of the bulk of Ireland’s media outlets is using an injunction to prevent reports on his affairs appearing in the rest of the media he doesn’t control.
Clearly, there are questions to ask about the press freedom implications due to Ireland’s lack of media plurality and diversity.

All true. But again, where is the Government?


1. pawelkonrad - May 29, 2015



2. Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015

The creation of jobs is an argument for anything.

The rearming of Germany in the later 1930s did wonders for employment along the Rhine.

And clutching my semi-Godwin I will get my coat.

Liked by 1 person

3. James McBarron - May 29, 2015

This crisis in the media and the state and its relationship with irelands wealthiest capitalist is an excellent illustration of how weak the power of the press really is when it comes to chalenging power. Something has gotta give for the information being supressed is all over the net via the oireachtas website itself making the very craven media look all the more pathetic. Perhaps we are facing a particular defining moment for irelands media and the political class.


4. Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015

And why concentrate on a certain person.

Surely Deputy Murphy’s revelations indicate that the IBRC is just pre-2008 Irish crony banking under a different name.

Heads should roll.

Liked by 1 person

Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015

Why concentrate solely on a certain person? I meant to type.

Liked by 1 person

Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015

IRBC was I mean.

Friday afternoon.

Anyone have a link to the list of board members at the time?


Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015
Gewerkschaftler - May 29, 2015

This is what Bloomberg has to say about the then CEO of IBRC:

Mr. AMR Aynsley, Mike has been Group Chief Executive of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (formerly Anglo Irish Bank Corp plc) since September 7, 2009. Mr. Aynsley has been working on a number of high-level projects since January 2006. He served at the Asian Development Bank in South East Asia, in the areas of financial sector development, risk management, liquidity management and governance risk assessment. During this time, he worked closely with regulatory and government authorities across a range of areas including capital markets. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Aynsley held senior positions, including Chief Risk Officer in New Zealand for the ANZ Bank and the National Bank of New Zealand. Prior to this, he served as a Global Partner, Banking and Financial Services with Deloitte Consulting for five years. He served as General Manager – Global Markets, Global Wholesale Financial Services for National Australia Bank from the early nineties, having held senior management positions with Security Pacific National Bank from the early eighties in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. He has been an Executive Director of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited since September 7, 2009. Mr. Aynsley holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Macquarie University, which he obtained in 2007.

and for good measure the Chairman of the Board:

Mr. Alan Dukes is a Public Affairs Consultant of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations Limited. Mr. Dukes served as the Minister of Finance. He also served as Minister for various portfolios including Finance and Justice and is a former leader of Fine Gael. He was Director General of the Institute of European Affairs from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Dukes has been a Director of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited since December 8, 2008. He serves as a Director of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations Limited.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2015

Funnily enough I had a similar discussion about concentrating on one person with a friend today and their take was that given how often the dynamics of capitalism are so anonymous it’s useful to have a focal point every once in a while, though I agree, he’s a symptom, not the cause.

Thanks for digging that up Gewerkschaftler.

Liked by 1 person

5. Eagle - May 29, 2015


Read this article from today’s NY Times on the Clintons’ corruption and you’ll notice our favorite Irish billionaire features.



WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2015

Urghhh… Thanks for that Eagle. Somehow it doesn’t surprise.


6. Tomboktu - May 29, 2015

At last some life


7. roddy - May 29, 2015

As if the SDLP were’nt in enough bother ,it now emerges that Denis O’Brien bankrolled them to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.


WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2015

It’s the story that keeps on giving. This is going to run and run, I wonder if O’Brien thinks this was such a great idea at this point?


Tomboktu - May 29, 2015

Last week we had Americans bankrolling “Yes”. This week it’s Maltese bankrolling “meh”.


8. Brian Hanley - May 29, 2015
WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2015

Just to note that lovely piece was as far as I can see published after the second Moriarty Tribunal Report. 😦


Liberius - May 29, 2015

He has personally given $16.5 million to Haiti in an attempt to help get that country back on its feet.

Given that he own’s Haiti’s largest mobile phone operator, Digicel, that’s practically a business expense.

Liked by 1 person

Ed - May 31, 2015

It’s hard to pick out one line from such a monstrous article, but this takes the biscuit:

“O’Brien’s success began in the Wild West era of capitalism in Ireland when there were few established rules … He emerged with the country’s first cell phone license and turned it into pure gold and some have never forgiven him for upsetting the cozy coterie.”

Ah yes, those halcyon days of the mid to late 90s, when hardy settlers were claiming Ireland back from the Injuns and building frontier towns where men were men, the whiskey was flowing and there were no pesky lawyers to get in the way. I can imagine O’Brien watching Deadwood and identifying with George Hurst (especially when he has his Pinkertons gun down union organizers) but I doubt even he would foist this drivel upon us. Just when you think O’Dowd could sink no lower, he finds another crevice.


Michael Carley - May 31, 2015

Hard not to think of Conor McCabe’s analysis: they think they’re Michael Corleone, but really they’re Fredo.



9. fergal - May 29, 2015

O’ Dowd’s article epitomises all that is wrong with charity. Dinny gave lots of cash to charity therefore he is a good person. Giving to charity can hide a multitude of sins. The giver is always superior to the receiver. It’s about the soul-less trying to give themselves a soul- like a person on a boat that’s sprung a leak desperately pouring water out with a bucket…..

Liked by 1 person

CL - May 30, 2015

Niall O’Dowd is of course an entrepreneur and a politician in his own right, so his honouring of Denis O’Brien is no surprise.
Niall O’Dowd’s critical role in the Peace Process is still not widely acknowledged. There’s a great story of how he met with Bill Flynn, Chairman of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and a representative of Sinn Fein, in a Manhattan pizza joint and planned how to get a visa to the U.S. for Gerry Adams. And the rest is history…
Niall has also inducted Hillary Clinton into the Irish America Hall of Fame for her role in the Peace Process.


10. CL - May 30, 2015

International networking is now how business is done. Denis O’Brien is part of this process. With O’Brien’s friends, the Clintons, there is now no clear dividing line between charity, family business and foreign and domestic policy-

“During a broader increase in military exports under the Obama administration, more than $300 billion worth of weapons shipments were approved to 20 countries that were or have since become Clinton Foundation donors….
The IBT also found that Boeing, Lockheed, and Goldman Sachs paid Bill Clinton personal speaking fees at around the same time that arms deals in which they had a financial interest were approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.”

“Eight firms, including Goldman Sachs and Citibank, paid the foundation between $1.6 million and $3.5 million combined for speeches by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton.”

“The Post review showed that Wall Street banks and other financial services firms have hired Clinton for at least 102 appearances and paid him a total of $19.6 million.”

Things were different in pre-modern times:

“When Harry Truman left the White House in 1953, historian David McCullough records, “he had no income or support of any kind from the federal government other than his Army pension of $112.56 a month….
Nevertheless, Truman refused to cash in on his celebrity and influence as a former president…
“I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable,” Truman later wrote, “that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency.”


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