PILLARS OF SOCIETY : MICHAEL O' LEARY .
From 'Phoenix' magazine , April 1986 .
All of Leinster House is a stage and all the deputies (members) and senators merely players . They have their exits and their elections , and one man in his time plays many parts - that man is Michael O' Leary , former (State) 'Tanaiste' (ie 'second-in-command') , (State) Minister for Labour , Industry and Energy , and Leader of The Labour Party . The question is , when will Michael O' Leary change parties again ?
The career of O' Leary to date has certainly been , in the words of the Bard , ' a strange and eventful history' ! First there was the enfant terrible of the 1960's , mewling and puking on the otherwise staid and conservative Labour Front Bench . His infantile 'oats' having been sown , Micko began to develop rapidly .
The next stage was the whining schoolboy of the 1970's , creeping not at all unwillingly to his State Ministerial desk : on the whole, Micko didn't have a bad coalition , with various pieces of reforming Labour legislation to his credit , albeit with the assistance of an EEC gun to the Dublin Administration's head.......
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 .
Of course , there is no suggestion that the deal was anything other that a bona-fide investment in a successful Irish manufacturing company . And Albert Reynolds , who was a serving State Minister at the time , has stated that he had no knowledge or part in the transaction . However , as one of the few companies which have been confirmed beneficiaries of the scheme it would be interesting to know exactly what shape the "...ongoing.." relationship took and how it contributed to the growth of C&D Foods .
The Roscommon accountant , Brian O' Carroll was recently associated with an investment in a Cork pottery company - a deal in which it was revealed that one of the investors had also made a political donation from an account set up for the initial purpose of housing the investors' money ! The sum , £10,000 , ended up in an account where the signatories were prominent Fianna Fail members , including Bertie Ahern : this was in 1993 , when the scheme was run on an ad-hoc basis through the (State) Department of Justice .
Brian O' Carroll brought investors to four Irish companies and a number of passports were issued to the family of each investor - in all he delivered approximately fifteen passports : he stressed that each investor came up with a minimum of £1 million in each case and that no 'discounting' ever took place in any of his deals , although he was aware of such a process.......
EMPIRES OF DUST .
Britain's leaders talk about remodelling the world and its historians draw attention to the 'good side of the old empire' . But what about the reality ?
From 'MAGILL' magazine , March 2003 .
By Edel Brosnan .
The Tower of London dates back to AD 1070 but that does not stopit looking , on the outside , like a stone-clad knock-off monument - a 'Made-in-China' fake . You could buy a decent bottle of Chablis for the price of an entrance ticket . However , to understand the British Empire , and what it really meant , the Jewel House at the Tower is the place to start .
The gems , the gold - the sheer vulgar magnificence of it all - could bring out the forelock-tugging royalist in anyone . Anyone , that is , except my father . He took one look at the Star Of India , the Star of Africa and the Cullinan Diamond (317 carats - you don't find that in Argos!) , then he muttered "...stolen goods , the lot of it.." .
Stolen is probably the wrong word : let's go with extorted or commandeered instead . You cannot walk through central London without tripping over an imperial souvenir - a 'heroic' statue , a triumphal arch , the Tate galleries at Pimlico and Bankside (the Tate fortune has its roots in the Caribbean sugar-and-slave trade) . Until recently, though , the locals didn't like to talk about it.......