Friday, September 17, 2010


Former Defence Minister, Willie O’Dea, T.D., Limerick East, emerged from obscurity last Friday to launch a broadside against the Green Party coalition partners in the crumbling Government he was once a member of on RTÉ’s “Late Late Show” prime time weekender show hosted by celeb groupie Ryan Tubridy.
O’Dea was forced to resign in disgrace last February following a Green Party ultimatum to Taoiseach Brian, “Biffo”, Cowen that they would quit the Government unless O’Dea was dismissed, only 24 hours after a vigorous defence of O’Dea in a Dáil debate led by Cowen and other senior ministers. The rancorous debate itself was a disgrace as Government ministers tried to justify O’Dea’s outrageous behaviour in supplying a false affidavit to the High Court in a slander case in which he was the defendant and the author of his own misfortune as subsequent events revealed.
O’Dea, a well known scurrilous operator throughout his political career, snookered himself by lying to the High Court in the matter of an action for slander arising out of remarks made by him during the Local and European elections in June 2009. During the election campaign, O’Dea spoke to a reporter from the “Limerick Leader” and alleged that a rival Sinn Féin candidate was engaged in criminal activity and that he had been given this information by the Garda Síochána (national police). Apart from the serious impropriety of any member of the police supplying confidential information to a Government minister who was not entitled to such information, the way in which O’Dea used this supposed “tip-off” to slander another candidate was itself a criminal act. When the candidate concerned, now elected Limerick City Councillor, Maurice Quinlivan, sued O’Dea in the High Court, the Minister submitted an affidavit to the Court stating he did not recall having uttered the slander. The controversy was revived in December 2009 when Fine Gael Senator Eugene Regan asked in the Senate about the veracity of the Minister’s statement and newspaper interest revived. Eventually, O’Dea went on radio to defend himself and reiterated the contents of his false affidavit but, faraor, the journalist whom he had spoken to during the 2009 election had retained a tape recording of the interview in which O’Dea is clearly heard uttering the slanderous remarks about Councillor Quinlivan which was provided to RTÉ and broadcast while O’Dea was still in the studio. Collapse of O’Dea’s disingenuous defence and consternation in the shambling Cowen Government. Bravado and defiance in the ensuing Dáil debate didn’t work and on presentation of the Green Party ultimatum the same evening, Cowen had no option but to sack O’Dea from the cabinet or face dissolution of his Government. It should be stated also that Official Garda sources vehemently denied giving any information to Minister O'Dea who then modified his story to relate a "conversation" he had with an "off-duty" member of the Gardai. No such member of the force was ever identified.
O’Dea’s latest outburst on RTÉ television, showing obvious peevishness at his sacking and resentment for the Green half of the miserable Coalition grimly hanging on to power, indicates that the lifetime of this government is limited and O’Dea, like the rest of the herd of the bonehead Fianna Fáil backbenchers terrified of losing their seats in the next election, is trying to pretend, as is his long-time tactic, that he is somehow the “opposition” instead of the miserable lackey he is to the worst government this Republic has ever suffered in its history.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch.....

Boss Biffo, having spent too much time at the social revels following the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party Stink-Tank in Galway, turned up for a radio interview Tuesday morning sounding the worse for wear and got lost trying to explain what they actually achieved at their Stink-Tank over a long weekend. They were supposed to be getting advice from experts on how they might extricate themselves from the black-hole economy they have created on the collapse of the fraudulent “Celtic Tiger” but, it seems absolutely clear now that Biffo and his wobbly Coalition government haven’t a clue how to do this and the longer they cling to office with no mandate for anything anymore the worse it will be for the suffering population of this country. 
They are now in hock both to the zombie banks which wrecked the economy with their reckless lending and the neo-liberal agenda of the European Commission and the European Central Bank who are enforcing a ruthless policy of cutbacks on wages and social spending not seen since the 1930’s Depression which eventually led to the outbreak of World War 2. There is only one demand to be made now by Labour and the other Left parties and that is a General Election as soon as possible to be fought on a credible alternative of state action to create new jobs, end the banking scandals  restore public control of all our national resources and defend the social gains of the past hundred years or more.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn
Áth Cliath/DUBLIN,
16 Mean Fómhair/September, 2010.

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