Wednesday, October 04, 2006

From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987.

" Yeh'll never believe what they're doing in there ! Honest to God ! " said the taxi driver , " The customers are lying on the floor , Archie Doyle has a gun on them . The staff are lying on the floor laughing ! Jack O' Sheehan is counting the money and Jack Corr is making out a receipt ! Sure the way they're going they won't have that bank robbed for weeks ! "

But that was Uncle Jack for ya ! One of the old sort who confused politics with principles and principles with ethics . Aunt Molly never let up . When the Hospitals' Trust started and the first directors were Joe McGrath and Jack O' Sheehan , Aunt Molly told my mother - " There they are , his ex-comrades , and them being paid more in a week than my fella gets in a year . Joe McGrath and Jack O' Sheehan ! Livin' like princes ! Riding out every morning so as to show the English that anything the old gentry could do , the new gentry can do better ! Sweet God , instead of backing horses , had my poor eejit only learned to ride wan ! "

Ma made excuses . It seemed that she always had to make excuses because Uncle Jack didn't think that Irish aspirations were there to be auctioned - bought and sold , as if every principle had a market value , and every prize a price . " Besides , " said my mother , " charity was never in his line ! " But Aunt Molly had another word for it - and 'charity' wasn't part of it .......

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 .

'Magill' magazine contacted the 'consultant' involved in the above 'passport deal' , who agreed to speak on the basis of anonymity : he detailed his relationship with a middleman who claimed to be on the political inside track - " At the time (1991) I was involved in organising commercial finance for small business . I was approached by a man who claimed that he had strong political contacts and could organise finance for small companies through the ('Passports For Investment') Scheme . "

The same source says that one of Ireland's largest accountancy and consultancy firms was instrumental in the introduction - " This man claimed he had a 'partner' with access to a panel of wealthy US clients who wished to secure Irish citizenship for tax reasons . He would provide the necessary political 'stance' for the deal to be approved . The proposal was sold to me on the basis that it involved 'discounting' - a nominal £1million investment would be 'discounted' to £250,000 ." The term 'discounting' was a euphemism for facilty fee .

Needless to say , officials in the State Department of Justice would not be told of this creative accounting and the offical documentation would show that £1 million had changed hands . As well as the 'discounted' sum which the investor would pay , the standard fee payable to the middleman was 3.5 % "...on both sides of the Atlantic....... "

From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

The people around Tony Gregory were all local activists , and while most shared common ground on local issues , some , especially Mike Rafferty , had fundamental differences with Gregory on the 'National Question' and related issues : Rafferty subscribes to the pro-loyalist 'two nations' theory which Gregory , as a republican , rejects . With the inner-city as their main plank , it is an issue which has never really threatened to split them .

Tony Gregory's unwillingness to row in behind the Anti-Amendment campaign was greeted by genuine dismay ; when he said he would first have to consult his constituents before deciding his stand , it seemed he was kicking to touch . Despite the criticisms and attacks , he maintained his position , or the lack of one.

On the other had , he threw his weight behind the Nicky Kelly campaign , which soon gathered momentum . Kelly was a member of the IRSP and Tony Gregory well remembered the days of the Sallins mail train round-ups . Indeed , civil liberties are a major issue for him , hence his entering the recent fray over the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act against Dr. Maire O' Shea.......