Rody Molloy is no King Arthur and Fás is no Camelot, except in its shiny-trousered imagination, but Rody lived like a king, and his rusty band of knightlets lived high on the hog from his largesse.
Fás executives traversed the planet, travelling first-class, living in top-class hotels at public expense, playing vitally-important rounds of golf in Florida and partying like there was no tomorrow.
Their leathery old wives are no Guineveres either, nor was any of them a bewitching Morgana. No indeed. I’m afraid these ladies learned their table manners and their accents in a tanning salon. And yet, their presence was deemed so vital to Ireland’s interests that they toured the world on the arm of their gallant, baggy-suited knights at great cost to the public purse.
When his dishonour became known, Rody departed to his own personal Avalon, and we all applauded. In the end, this very perfect, gentle knight had done the right thing as any high-born noble might and summoned Bedivere: take Excalibur and fling him in the middle mere.
Or so we all thought, but no indeed. No Lady of the Lake reached out to grasp Excalibur and return him to the deep.
Rody cared nothing for the ripple washing in the reeds or the wild water lapping on the crag.
Good King Rody didn’t just quit in shame when he was exposed as a freeloading chancer quite unsuitable to head a billion-euro State agency, despite what we all believed.
In my innocence, I thought he said to himself, Fuck, they got me. I’d better fuck off while I still can.
But no. No indeed. Instead of slinking off into the darkness, as he should have, old Rody threatened to issue legal proceedings, and for his trouble he was awarded as follows:
Pension – €111,243,50 a year.
Lump sum (tax free) – €333,732.
Ex-gratia payment(taxable) – €111,243.50.
All Rody had to do was threaten to sue, and they gave him a big ball of money.
Rod is the guy who presided over the great Fás money-siphon, in which a state-funded training agency spent a billion euros a year while at the same time he and his pals lived like kings.
What was Fás doing? Creating jobs at a time of full employment.
But I already have a job.
Have another one! How would you like to be a bricklayer?
I’m a brain surgeon.
How would you like to be a plumber? Look. Shove this plastic pipe into this one. See? Now you’re a plumber.
Oh look! There’s my limousine to the airport. I’m flying to New York first fucking class with the missus and fourteen gobshites from the office to watch a game of football. It’s a prize I win every time I persuade a brain surgeon to become a plumber.
Molloy is the same individual who defended his wife’s free transatlantic trips, at public expense, by saying he was entitled to travel first class, and therefore if he swapped one first-class ticket for two regular seats, it made no difference in the end.
Here’s the logic:
I won’t live like a king. I’ll live like a two-bit mobster instead and you can fuck off if you don’t like it.
Molloy presided over an organisation where invoices were routinely split into multiple smaller bills so that no individual payment would exceed limits requiring more rigorous scrutiny.
This is the organisation that commissioned a TV ad costing 600,000 euros, but which was never screened.
January 2007, they spent €36,000 in one month on five flights to Orlando by Fás officials and board members, including Rody.
They spent €28,000 for two weeks on a room in a Dublin hotel, but in fairness to them, the room wasn’t that expensive. The bill includes two banquets on the same day. One cost €8,000 and the other cost €9,000.
They spent €12,000 on a worldwide trip for an executive, who was shortly due to retire, accompanied by his wife.
This organisation was both incompetent and insane under the leadership of Rody Molloy, who now walks away with a very large lump of money and a fine handsome pension that most people couldn’t dream of earning as a salary.
Some cynics are suggesting that Brian Cowen stepped in behind the scenes to offer Molloy a quick deal so he’d go away, but that’s very mean-spirited of them.
According to Cowen at the time of Molloy’s resignation: I know him personally.
He went on to say : … he has been an excellent public servant and I have every confidence in him. That confidence was justified.
He is an honourable public servant and he did the honourable thing on behalf of the organisation that he led and tendered his resignation to the board of that organisation. I commend him for that.
So there you go. Cowen’s confidence was justified. Of course we know now that Molloy refused to resign unless he got his financial sweetener, of which Brian Cowen must also have been aware.
Now look. Just because Molloy and Cowen are from the same locality and know each other personally as Cowen confirmed, it doesn’t mean that Cowen did him any favours. Certainly not.
Very unfair. Very hurtful.
Nevertheless, this was a very shabby Camelot indeed and a very scruffy bunch of knights. There was no Avalon, no Merlin and precious little honour.
Not for these unlettered clowns the long glories of the winter’s moon.
No indeed. These gentle knights dined at no round table but snout first in a pig trough.