" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!

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.......