" 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!


Friday, October 06, 2006

LOTTERIES AND OTHER HOLD-UPS .......
From 'New Hibernia' magazine , April 1987.

" Charity? " said Aunt Molly , " is that what you call it ? You're so naive . It's big , big business . Selling Sweep tickets is easier than robbin' banks , and you can't be arrested for it . Except in England ! Less than thirty per cent of what the Hospital Trust makes goes to the hospitals and less than half of what's left is paid to the prizewinners . As for the ordinary staff ? God help them , but a tinker would make more selling lucky white heather in Merrion Square ! And ya say 'Well , I always thought that they were doing all that for charity' ? Aye , that'll be the day ! And Joe McGrath is getting his racehorses on credit ! "

By the time I was a nipper the three biggest men in finance were Joe McGrath , Jack O' Sheehan and Eamonn Duggan . Archie Doyle , even worse at ' the business of business ' than Uncle Jack , was still robbing banks for the IRA well into the 1940's .

I don't go in for anniversaries , but I thought that with the winding up of the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes it would be as well to remember it affectionately , for it meant a great deal to some folk.......
(MORE LATER).



PASSPORTS , PLEASE....... !
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 .

The 'consultant' claims that his job was to find the 'right' businesses to liaise with the US investors ; he claims that he had no direct dealings with politicians as this was done by the middleman , who is from North County Dublin . According to the 'consultant' , the 'discounted' sum was never "...represented as an investment.." to those looking for a passport .

Although the source successfully completed a number of deals which saw US investors receive Irish passports in return for injecting cash into small Irish manufacturing firms , he claims that the investments in these cases were real . The problem is that we don't know how many of the investments made in the 1990's were fictional - there is a strong circumstantial case building up that at least some of the passports were issued on the basis of false financial information .

While any political administration can hide behind the need to protect 'investor confidentiality' , surely a cost-benefit analysis of the scheme should be available ? How do we know that the money that was lodged in Ireland was ever actually invested in the business stated.......?
(MORE LATER).



THE YOUNGER BREED : TONY GREGORY .......
From 'The Phoenix' magazine , February 1985 .

By the time the Nicky Kelly campaign was drawing to a close , the Concerned Parents Against Drugs (CPAD) were mounting their battle against pushers : although it began on the southside of Dublin , the CPAD soon spread to the northside and Tony Gregory began backing it when other politicians were more cautious .

The drugs campaign posed a number of problems for Tony Gregory and his supporters - some of his activists had doubts about Sinn Fein involvement , but the drugs epidemic is a major issue for Dublin's inner-city and if Sinn Fein members play a dominant role in the campaign , Gregory does not seem to mind .

But Sinn Fein's emergence in Dublin at a political level may yet pose difficulties for the 37-year-old Gregory : when Fianna Fail's George Colley died , Tony Gregory and his strategists considered running Mick Rafferty in the by-election , but eventually reckoned such a move would not pay off . This left the field open for Sinn Fein.......
(MORE LATER).