" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)

IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!

Monday, October 02, 2006

From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987.

Anyway , while Uncle Jack and Jack O' Sheehan and Archie Doyle went to free the bank of its bread , Joe McGrath sat holding a forty-five on the taxi-driver . The others were in the place for what seemed like an age : Joe , despairing of ever seeing them again , was getting a bit edgy . The cabman was even more so , as he had a wedding to attend - " Christ !" says he , " it didn't take as long as that to get rid of the money changers! "

The taxi driver argued with McGrath that one of them should go to the bank and find out what the hell was delaying the robbers : Joe said that if he went the cabby would drive off and leave them where Jesus left those same money-changers , but the cabby asked Joe was he daft - when did he ever hear of a taxi-driver going without his fare ? " Funerals , ok " , said the driver , " nobody ever minded a delay , but folk are touchy about being late for their own weddings . It's all very well for ye people , who do this sort of thing for a cause , but I drive for a living . And I've a reputation to think of , do ya understand .... "

Eventually it was agreed that the driver should find out what was keeping Uncle Jack and the others , while Joe minded the store , so to speak . After a minute the driver returns and his eyes streaming with tears of laughter - " Yeh'll never believe what they're doing in there ! Honest to God ....... ! "

The latest passports for investment revelations involve a controversial £10,000 donation to Fianna Fail by US investor Gerry Lindzon .
There are grounds for suspicion that much of the money that changed hands in other deals was never intended for investment in the business but rather a 'facility fee' which accrued to the company for allowing its name to be used .
By Daire O' Brien .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , March 1999 .

In the early 1990's the owner of a small but successful Irish business was approached by somebody with a proposal . His visitor , a financial consultant with expertise in providing capital for small businesses , claimed that he had the power to deliver to the businessman a cash injection of approximately £250,000 . In return , the businessman would have to issue a share certificate for over £1 million in his business . On the surface , a poor deal - why give £4 worth of equity for every £1 ?

However , as with much pertaining to the Passports For Investment scheme , what you see is nothing like what you get : what actually would happen is that the investor , a US businessman , would be satisfied with a meaningless class of share which would have nothing but a 'peppercorn' value: the Irish business would , to official eyes , appear to be receiving over £1 million and a passport would be issued to the US citizen in return for his apparent munificence and faith in the then slumbering State economy !

The businessman was intrigued : he recalls - " The scheme was sold to me on the basis that the consultant would be able to deliver politically . The application would not be questioned . Obviously I didn't ask the consultant if money was going to be paid to a politician .... " The consultant worked for a well-known Dublin insurance broker which is still in existence as part of a larger group . As things transpired the deal never took place - it was sidelined by political changes and a new media interest in the Passports For Investments scheme provoked by the revelation that former (26 County) Taoiseach Albert Reynolds' family business , C&D Petfoods , had benefited from it.......

From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

When the counting was done , Tony Gregory found himself holding the cards of the next Government (ie State Administration) , and it wasn't long until those seeking a hand were calling to the Gregory HQ at Summerhill Parade : 'Sir' Garret Fitzgerald , Fine Gael , and Charlie Haughey , Fianna Fail , put their cards on the table but , as usual , Haughey took the gamble . Tony Gregory , his brother Noel , Fergus McCabe and Mike Rafferty played for high stakes : the multi-million pound 'Gregory Deal' : funds for the inner-city and a full house for Haughey ! This deal put Tony Gregory into the centre-stage of State politics and left him in a position to topple the State government if the need arose .

But that need didn't arise - for those blissful eight months , Tony Gregory only had to lift the telephone , say the word and pronto ! The job was done ! He had the power . When luck finally ran Garret Fitzgerald's way , Tony Gregory's chips were called in . But still some aspects of the Gregory Deal survived ; the much-needed new housing for the inner-city was already underway .

Gregory came home comfortably in the last election and settled down as an independent Leinster House member . Hardened by his years in Official Sinn Fein and later the IRSP , he knew his influence would be limited . He left Official Sinn Fein when Seamus Costello formed the IRSP , as he admired Costello , but soon became disillusioned with politics within the IRSP . In the mid 1970's he began to build a community base in inner-city Dublin , which led to his election as a councillor in 1979.......