Willie O’Dea and the False Statement

 Posted by on February 16, 2010  Add comments
Feb 162010

Let’s get the facts.

Maurice Quinlivan, a politician in Limerick, questioned the fact that six public servants were assigned to deal with Minister Willie O’Dea’s  constituents.

O’Dea reacted to that criticism by making the following remark to a Limerick Chronicle journalist, Mike  Dwane.

“I suppose I’m going a bit too far when I say this, but I would like to ask Mr Quinlivan is the brothel still closed?”

He also asked the journalist “Do you know the brothel they found in his name and in his brother’s name ..?”

Maurice Quinlivan issued defamation proceedings against Willie O’Dea, and in response, O’Dea submitted a sworn affidavit to the High Court denying that he had ever made such a remark.

The purpose of the affidavit was to persuade the court to reject Maurice Quinlivan’s action.

“I most categorically and emphatically deny that I said to Mr Dwane that the plaintiff was the owner of the said apartment”

Based on the statements made in the affidavit, the court rejected Quinlivan’s application.

Later, when Dwane’s recording of the interview proved that he had actually made the defamatory remarks, O’Dea withdrew his affidavit.

Get that now.  Willie O’Dea, minister for defence, categorically and emphatically denied that he had made such a statement, even though it would later transpire that he had indeed made such a statement.

By definition, the statement, which was untrue, misled the High Court.  The court made its decision based on the incorrect information supplied to  it in Willie’s affidavit.  Willie O’Dea misled the High Court, and yet is still walking around a free man.

If I submitted a sworn, untrue statement to the High Court, I might expect to be in jail right now, but Willie O’Dea believes he has done nothing wrong.

Not only does Willie think this, but so does our Prime Minister and our Minister for Justice, both of whom came out to defend him.

Here’s an interesting thing.  All three are lawyers, of a sort, and all three ought to know better, unlike me.  As I said, if I deceived the High Court, I’d be in jail, but when a trained lawyer and government minister does so, he gets a fool’s pardon.

Why is that?

Willie has subsequently compounded the original outrage by attempting to mislead our national parliament, and worse still, by taking us all for fools and insulting our intelligence.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Willie said that he hadn’t lied on oath but had made a mistake.

Does Willie think we’re all idiots?

He forgot that he had accused somebody of owning a brothel.  It slipped his mind, but luckily, when the journalist’s recording appeared, Willie had his memory jogged.

Damn, now that you mention it, maybe I did say he and his brother ran a brothel.  Well I never! Thank God for recording technology!

As soon as he discovered his mistake, Willie said, he had moved to rectify it.

This is almost right.

What really happened is this: as soon as he was challenged, Willie started bullshitting, and it seems that, having successfuly bullshitted the High Court, he’s now working on a bullshit job for the Dáil and the people of Ireland.

How do you forget that you accused somebody of operating a brothel?

Willie has offered the defence that Maurice Quinlivan accepted the statement was a mistake, but Qunlivan is not an officer of the court, or a judge.  He was simply one of the litigants, and he has no competence to decide on the matter.  That’s a matter for the courts to determine.

Willie has claimed that this incident had nothing to do with his ministerial duties, and in making such a statement has exposed his own moral bankruptcy and that of the party he represents.  To Willie, and Biffo and Dermot Ahern, there is nothing wrong with a government minister misleading the High Court.

This has everything to do with his role as a government minister, and the very fact that he denies it reveals a profound failure to understand what a democracy is.

This is terrifying.

If people in such positions of power – the minister for defence, the minister for justice and the prime minister –  have such contempt for one of the pillars of our democracy, will they stop at anything?  These are the three people best placed to impose martial law on a restive population, and none of them has the slightest respect for the rule of law.

Have these people, at long last, no sense of decency?

On the evidence before us, Ireland is not a democracy.

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