Tuesday, December 04, 2007



Well, the Bahamas, actually, but, they are one of the boundary points of the infamous, time-warping, legendary “Triangle”. The mystery arises from evidence this week at the Mahon Tribunal, investigating corruption in the planning process in Dublin County, concerning a foreign trip by former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in 1994. Mr Reynolds left Dublin on March 12th that year on a fund-raising trip for FF in the USA and on the return flight landed at Nassau, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, for an “official” visit, unreported by the Irish media at the time.

Brigadier General Ralph James, Commander of the Air Corps, told the Tribunal, Wednesday, Samhain/November 27th, that he flew Taoiseach Reynolds and party to Nassau from the USA and on March 21st , the day the aircraft was due to return to Dublin, a change of flight was requested by the Taoiseach’s Office to include an additional visit to Freeport on another island in the Bahamas. The Brigadier’s evidence follows allegations to the tribunal by businessman Tom Gilmartin that suggested Mr Reynolds had collected up to a $1M in the USA for Fianna Fáil but that only $70,000 had been remitted to FF funds. “Someone said they (the money) must have fallen off the plane and drifted to the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands” Mr Gilmartin had declared. Mr Gilmartin also told the Tribunal, previously, that Cork property developer, Owen O’Callaghan had said that, allegedly, Mr Reynolds had received £150,000 after attending a dinner in Cork on Márta/March 11th, the night before he had left for the USA. Brigadier General James also confirmed that Mr Reynolds had been flown to Cork by helicopter at 5pm that day, returning to Dublin at 1.30am.

On RTÉ, Irish national radio,Thursday, Samhain/November 29th, Dr Martin Mansergh, TD for Tipperary South, and a member of the group which accompanied Mr Reynolds to the USA and the Bahamas, made a rambling, amnesiac statement about the diversion to Freeport implying that the flight had been a scheduled one, directly contradicting the evidence of Brigadier General James that the diversion was requested only on March 21st 1994 and had not been included in the schedule when the party originally left Dublin. Dr Mansergh has not added anything to the erudition of the Nation by his rambling statement but, only extended the confusion and evasion which has characterised the explanations for the bizarre financial arrangements of Blank-Cheque Bertie and his cronies in 1994.

“White Chief speaks with forked tongue….”

Further evidence contradicting Blank-Cheque Bertie’s explanations emerged also with statements by the former managing director of NCB Stockbrokers, Mr Pádraic O’Connor, that a £5000 donation from that company to Fianna Fáil ended up in Blank-Cheque Bertie’s personal account. Mr O’Connor also emphatically denied Blank-Cheque Bertie’s statement on RTÉ Television SixOneNews in September 2006 that he was a personal friend of Taoiseach Ahern or that the Taoiseach had thanked him personally for the £5000 donation. Again, on Thursday’s RTÉ Television’s news bulletins, Blank Cheque Bertie when quizzed by reporters on this matter offered the completely lame response that he “thought Mr O’Connor was a friend”. It beggars belief that this man, holding the highest government office in the State, expects the people to believe anything he says. A further revelation that a false invoice was issued by NCB to cover up the political donation has put Blank-Cheque Bertie again on the back-foot.

Only days after this evidence it has now emerged that, in 1994, the Chairman of the National Lottery, Mr John Hynes, was instructed by Department of Finance officials to co-operate with a consortium of businessmen who were promoting the establishment of the first gambling casino in Ireland at the site of the old Phoenix Park Racecourse. One of the partners in this project was Mr Norman Turner who contributed $10,000 to the Fianna Fáil party via Mr Des Richardson, then Fianna Fáil chief fundraiser, also in 1994, and the other partner in the consortium was Mr Robert White, a schooldays friend of Blank-Cheque Bertie. Who was Minister for Finance in charge of the National Lottery at the time? Yes, you guessed it; Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. And who was also known to Mr Turner and Mr White? You guessed right again: Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. These Casino negotiations were kept secret from the public at the time by a so-called “non-disclosure agreement”.

Mr Hynes, a shrewd and careful executive, also chief executive of An Post at the time, and previously Managing Director of Dublin Bus, soon realised that the Casino promoters were only interested in having the National Lottery on board in order to “rent a reputation”. In interviews with the “Irish Independent”, repeated in other newspapers in the past few days and yesterday, 03 Nollaig/December 2007 on RTÉ Irish National Radio news, Mr Hynes stated “I was fully satisfied from my contacts with senior civil servants that the Minister (Mr Bertie Ahern) did not demur from my contact with Sonas-Ogden (the Casino promoting company)”. Blank-Cheque Bertie subsequently publicly opposed the Casino project when local opposition became widespread and very active prior to the 1997 general election when he was first elected Taoiseach. This is now being spun as a virtue by Government spokespeople.

A Guru by any other name….

RTÉ Radio listeners to the midday news bulletin yesterday 03 Nollaig/December were treated to an apoplectic rant by Senator Eoghan Guru Harris, appointed to the Senate by Blank-Cheque Bertie after the May General election this year. In a ludicrous attempt to divert attention from the serious and damaging evidence now emerging on a daily basis at the Tribunal concerning Blank-Cheque Bertie’s bizarre financial arrangements in 1994, Guru Harris, whose equally bizarre political career has stretched from Worker’s Party Revolutionary Socialist to Friend of Ulster Unionism , mentor of right-wing Fine Gael under John Bruton, and currently, Knight-Defender of the Bertie Empire, made a desperate attempt to imply that the Tribunal and media reporting of it was a conspiracy by the Irish Daily Mail (an Irish edition of a British tabloid newspaper) to bring down the head of the Irish Government.

….. would stink as much.

The Daily Mail may have an agenda, most British tabloids do, and so does the “Irish Independent” group for which Guru Harris has written extensively for years with his own peculiar political views. The Independent Group, owned by billionaire businessman “Sir” Tony O’Reilly is the most notorious right-wing propaganda machine in the Irish media, regularly slandering left-wing politics in Ireland and abroad; supporting the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; praising everything done by the usurper, vote-rigging Buckfush regime; slandering the Irish Anti-War Movement and anyone who protests against the misuse of Shannon Airport by the US Military and CIA “rendition” torture plane flights through the same airport; slandering the decent people of Erris, Co Mayo in their brave attempt to oppose international Oil-Monopoly, Shell Oil’s plan to put a high-pressure gas pipeline across their lands close to their residences.

Guru Harris, now shamelessly playing the Green Nationalist Card in defence of the indefensible, was quite comfortable spouting his propaganda from the columns of the London “ Sunday Times”, imperialist war-mongering rag, long-time enemy of the Irish people and their right to self-determination, now owned by “Not-Sir” Rupert Morlock, billionaire meeja mogul and propagandist for the “New World Order” of Buckfush and Blairschmuck.

Guru Harris’ stock-in-trade for years past has been condemnation of Sinn Féin – IRA Provo nationalism in Northern Ireland and has milked every penny he can get from this stance in any media outlet which would allow him in. It is sheer brass-faced hypocrisy for him now to use this card to prop up a floundering leader of a shameless, incompetent government which uses any means to try to cling to power.

The question for the Irish people now is not what a British tabloid newspaper thinks or might be up to, but, is the Head of the Irish Government a trustworthy person to hold such office and can his public utterances be believed as truth. It is not the duty of the elected representatives in Dáil Éireann to support any Taoiseach who is attacked by a British newspaper without qualification, as Guru Harris is urging them to do but only to support a Taoiseach who puts the interests of the people before himself and tells the truth on all occasions. The people’s representatives in the Dáil, under Bunreacht na hÉireann, are not there as cannon fodder for any Taoiseach but to ensure that the people’s interests come first before any individual politician or party.

As regards British tabloids, the question is why the Irish media is not pursuing the investigation into Blank-Cheque Bertie’s sleazy closed-door “fund-raising” or “dig-outs” to the extent the public interest requires. The Irish media, including Guru Harris, but with one honourable exception, Vincent Browne, of “Village” magazine, raised no serious questions about the financial shenanigans of former FF Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey, whom we now know was as corrupt as a Mafioso Godfather. Is it any surprise, then, that we need to rely on British tabloids for some of the information?

Today, 04 Nollaig/December, Blank-Cheque Bertie is reported as condemning the issuing of the false invoice for the money which he has been forced to admit he benefited from, and has stabbed in the back his collaborator, Fianna Fáil fund-raiser Des Richardson, and Pádraic O’Connor, formerly of NCB, whom last week he was calling “a friend” in a petulant and cynical manoeuvre to try and save himself from an increasingly slippery slope to perdition. Blank Cheque failed to comdemn the promotion of tax-evasion schemes by Mayo deputy, Beverly Stupor-Flynntstone, whom he has been assiduously courting and wooing back into his parliamentary party and ratbag coalition, even hinting that the discredited former bank official could be given ministerial office in the current government. This shows the depths of cynicism and tolerance of corrupt practice at the highest level of the Government Guru Harris wants all T.D’s to support.
As the Tribunal proceeds towards Blank-Cheque Bertie’s next fateful appearance there, in two weeks time, a Mt Everest of questions has arisen on these matters which demand answers to the public on the conduct of persons holding the highest offices of the state, with most of them being members or associates of the Fianna Fáil Party.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/Dublin, 04 NOLLAIG/DECEMBER 2007.

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