May 272010
 

Even though Bertie Ahern’s dig-outs were grubby, sordid, compromising and embarrassing, they weren’t the most disturbing thing about the worst prime minister in the history of our country.  That came during his now-famous interview with Brian Dobson on the main evening news, when he informed Dobson that he appointed people to the boards of State companies because they were his friends.

He didn’t appoint people to State boards on the basis of expertise, qualifications or experience.  No indeed.  Bertie put his pals in charge of your money and was quite happy to announce it to the nation on the six o’clock news because he saw absolutely nothing wrong with that way of doing business.

His friends – whatever a friend is in the grasping psyche of Bertie Ahern – got jobs controlling State money, hundreds of millions, billions, solely on the basis that they had been nice to Bertie one way or another.

I don’t know what Bertie would consider a friend, but I do believe that beneath the bonhomie and the backslapping joviality, there’s a cold, calculating personality fixated on one thing only: Bertie.  In my opinion, Bertie would have only one idea of what a friend is — somebody who has been useful to him in the past or who is likely to be useful in the future.

Everything else has to do with the personal insecurity that drove him to lie about his educational attainments and his professional qualifications.  I think he’s in awe of people who are richer, better connected or more powerful because at heart he’s still the ducking-and-dodging street-corner boy he always was.  A calculating little spiv who saw politics as the way to feather his own nest.

A man devoid of vision.

This is worth thinking about.  It’s worth pondering.  Our prime minister considered it appropriate to put people in charge of this country’s assets who might be incompetent, dishonest or in severe conflict of interest, if and only if they were members of his social circle.

Take it lads, and do whatever you want with it.  It’s only taxpayers’ money.

Where is the vision in that?  Where is the principle?

Thus we have the Dublin Docklands Development Authority which is now facing huge losses.

This organisation was given full powers as a planning authority, a huge budget and the autonomy to go out and redevelop the Dublin docklands.

Unfortunately, it was also given Seán Fitzpatrick and Lar Bradshaw, both directors of the disgraced Anglo-Irish Bank.  Seánie, as Bertie called him, was another friend.

There were eight State-appointed directors whose job it was to protect the State’s financial interests: Fitzpatrick, Bradshaw and six others.

  • Mary Moylan was a civil servant.
  • Declan McCourt was a director of Bank of Ireland.
  • Angela Cavendish worked for Alexsam Corporate Finance.
  • Donal Curtin, an accountant, was the husband of a senior Anglo executive, Anne O’Donoghue.
  • Niamh O’Sullivan was a director of Ove Arup, consulting engineers.
  • Joan O’Connor qualified as an architect but works exclusively in project management.  O’ Connor, who served on the DDDA board from 1997 to 2007 was the project manager for developer Seán Dunne’s Jurys-Berkeley Court project in Ballsbridge.  Dunne – or Dunners, as Bertie called him – later took a successful legal action against the DDDA to prevent it carrying out a development on Dublin’s north quays.

On the 24th October 2006, these eight agreed to embroil the DDDA in the biggest property deal ever done in Ireland : the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend.  The price was €412 million, and the owner was the Dublin Port company, chaired by Joe Bourke, another friend Bertie had appointed.  The site was leased to Paul Coulson whose company would ultimately make over €270 million from the deal.  Fitzpatrick and Bradshaw had a business relationship with Coulson as members of a syndicate that had bought property elsewhere in Dublin.

A company called Becbay had been set up to develop the IGB site and DDDA was to take a 26% stake in the venture.

When it emerged that his bank would be partially funding the deal, McCourt withdrew from the discussion.  The two Anglo directors had no such qualms and declared that they would simply stay out of their bank’s decision-making process on this deal.

Nobody seemed to think it strange that two people whose bank would be putting up the money should be part of this decision.  The civil servant didn’t walk out of the meeting, and her political bosses seemed happy enough with the decision.  Later that very same day, Brian Cowen, as minister for finance, personally approved an increase in the DDDA’s borrowing limits to buy a  share of the site.  For a man of Cowen’s turgid and ponderous nature, this was an action of extraordinary alacrity.  It seems almost as baffling as his later insistence on including Anglo in the bank bailout contrary to all the expert advice available to him – a decision that now threatens to sink the Irish economy.

The deal went through, but the property market went sour and the State lost a fortune, currently in the order of €90 million.  The DDDA’s total deficit last year was over €200 million.

Here’s cronyism at its most naked, with the worst banker in the history of the  State put in place by the worst prime minister and neither of them caring in the slightest what the ultimate cost to the taxpayer might be.

The DDDA debacle was only one instance of political patronage.  Multiply this sort of chicanery by the two years Ahern was finance minister and the ten years he was prime minister.  Work out how much damage a cynical, grasping, unprincipled clod could do in all that time and you have some idea why Ireland is in its current state.

____________

Mapping the Golden Circle

More Bertie on Bock

  45 Responses to “Dublin Docklands Development Authority and the Bertie Ahern Curse”

Comments (45)
  1.  

    Bock, reading this just makes my blood boil.. it really does.

    Ok so total deficit 200 million.. where’d the 200 million go? It didn’t just disappear into thin air did it.

    “The site was leased to Paul Coulson whose company would ultimately make over €270 million from the deal. Fitzpatrick and Bradshaw had a business relationship with Coulson as members of a syndicate that had bought property elsewhere in Dublin.” Talk about conflict of interest.. . Surely with the IGB site costing 412 million, the lease would have matched it’s worth.. why are they down 90 million, yet one of the chums of the financiers can walk away with 270 million.

    I wonder who the directors of Becbay were?

    Someone pocketed this money.. Where is it?. In who’s name is it? Oh FF and their chums.. the stink always seem to lead back to them. Cowen isn’t much better than Bertie.

    I reckon you theory of a consortium of FF crooks and their cronies having someone as a front for all the money they made from all their dodgy dealings and backhanders is on the money so to speak. These crooks should be locked up.. if it was any other country they would be.

    Bertie’s definition of a friend: A dim wit of a crook like himself. It’ll all come out in the end!

  2.  

    The site of the old Irish Glass Company factory in Docklands is 25 smacking acres, and it may remain undeveloped for a long time. My suggestion (who the f* asked me? I hear somebody sneer) is that convicted drunken louts who would cost the taxpayer too much to maintain in jail should be given community service orders. They could work to clear the site and turn it into an urban market gardening project. Let society’s offensive sh**bags learn the creativity of growing vegetables in Dublin’s great state subsidised glasshouse (greenhouse, geddit?) and let the enterprise be a beacon in the world of criminology and ecology.

  3.  

    You’re allowed to say fuck and shitbag on this site. You can even say cunt.

    There are no magic words here, unlike Politics.ie and Boards.ie.

    I can’t understand why those people are so fucking prissy but unfortunately their puritanism seems to have infected the whole country.

    Anyone saying s**t or f*** here will be banned, the c**ks***ers.

  4.  

    I was raised in a middle class home where we were discouraged from effing and jayzing, Bock, but where there were double standards. We kids sometimes overheard our parents uttering the blunt vocabulary among their friends in the pubs. Apart from that, what do you effing think about my proposal for young social offenders to be made develop the old glass making factory into a semi-state market garden?

  5.  

    Wally have you not heard the site is poison and is a danger ot everyone. in fact it will take 60,000,000 euro to clean it up, which is what it is valued at giving a net value of zero.

  6.  

    Wally — We weren’t able to pronounce the asterisks when we were kids.. As de fan says, the site is contaminated. I think I read an estimate of about €40 million to clean it up.

    Yo couldn’t grow anything there at the moment, but maybe you could use the skangers to dig out the poisonous stuff.

  7.  

    Thats a fine article Bock, thanks for keeping your eye on the ball. This story is one of the best examples of why we are in the state we are in. There’s not much more to be said, but I would add a couple of small points:

    Your analysis of Bertie is spot on I believe, but its worth pointing out also that he was at one time the most popular leader we’ve ever had. People loved him, I thought he was a grand fella myself years ago, until I saw through the facade. And many of the people who dont love him now have only changed their mind because they need to be pissed off at someone over their new circumstances, they dont hate him because he is a grasping, unprincipled, slimy dishonest mé féiner. Bertie’s popularity reflects a lot of the worst qualities of many Irish people unfortunately.

    On the DDDA, to set up an authority that is also a property development company, and also the planning authority for the area it is charged to develop, and then to fill the Board with bankers who are providing the money for the development projects, is to PLAN corruption. There will no doubt be lots of talk now about “mistakes” and “systems failures”, and “oversight”, which will completerly and deliberately ignore the truth. The truth being of course that this was organised corruption.

  8.  

    @FME

    “where’d the 200 million go?”

    If it wasn’t converted into something very heavy it’s abroad. It went abroad, aided and abetted by the very best legally bent accountants, lawyers and legislators money can buy. You don’t think the wealthy have any truck with Irish banks, do you? It’s sitting in an account in some tax haven. Or more probably spread around several tax havens.

    We will only get it back from these putrid motherfucking scumbags (obligatory profanity) if we apply international sanctions. In the future taxes on financial transactions and oversight of capital flows can help stop this, but that stable door is banging in the wind.

  9.  

    He was popular because the wonderfully competent staff working in state departments voted for him in exchange for putting their bloated useless arses in jobs for life. He created a massive voting base by creating every committee, private partnership and board he could think of. They were and are sucking the taxpayer dry @ 25% more pay than their private sector counterparts across the civilised world. Then they complain when it has to be brought down to sane levels. Rather let social welfare recipients take the hit.
    He was, is, and always will be a caricature of life here. I could not believe it when he sat in the Brian Dobsen interview and lied on national television (this was the interview where he was explaining other lies)“ I….. da da de de de da da da de de de da da ….do know…… da da da de de…… tax laws Brian. I is ….uhm… ehmm…. ahm…. an accountant Brian…”

    Oh let`s not forget that he was supposed to have got a degree from the London School of Economics. They confirmed that they knew nothing of him. Yet he was in power how long???

    Youse gets what you votes for……………..

  10.  

    Wasn’t everyone in the country getting 25% more than their counterparts across the civilised world?

  11.  

    When we default on our debt in 2 yrs, and we will because there is no real economy (cuts can only be taken so far to pay for all this debauchery and insane wasteful spending) then the IMF will come in here and run the place the way it should be. By competent economists and financial personnel. They will put proper systems in place so we don’t have billions unaccounted for and thrown down the toilet. So there is some hope yet, please God let it be sooner rather than later. But 2 yrs is a long time in a shit hole waiting for competence. Then of course with competent people it will take at least another 5 yrs before any benefits are seen by those system implementations. Thereafter in another 4 yrs you may see some real growth.

    P.S. for all those idiot economists out there talking absolute shit, about growth and recovery……. Eat Me! You are either being paid to talk shit, are completely stupid, lying, or you are just morons. How you got those economic degrees is one of the great mysteries of this world.

    We have 10 yrs of harsh living before we get on an even keel again. So buckle up (or is that Bock up) people, and hang on for an economic ride down the shitter……

  12.  

    The thing in the private sector was, if you got your 25% over and above, there was a chance you could get fired if you were incompetent. State Sector, probably just moved to Ballynowhere to shuffle old files around or lick stamps, courtesy of the taxpayer…

  13.  

    A little story of Bertie I heard recently. His father apparently left Castletownberehaven in Co. Cork as a disaffected young man because he was disinherited by his family. Another sibling got the family farm so in a furious rage he fucked off and got a job on a farm in Dublin and never again set foot in Cork.
    Bertie and his siblings had issues with Corkonians and culchies in general.
    Ahern senior eventually settled in Drumcondra and raised his family to be peevishly disaffected blow-ins without any true familial identity or history of which they could be proud. They were to all intents and purposes brought up by a bitter bastard who never gave them anything but a grá for all things negative and destructive.
    [deleted]
    When Bertie became Taoiseach first time my brother the athlete called me from his home in the US and predicted that that cunt Ahern would sink the country.
    Today the message in that prediction has been proven correct. Clearly, if a mere culchie, who met just one Ahern on several occasions could see what it was the Aherns were made of then why did the people of Drumcondra not see it?
    I hold the electorate in that constituency directly responsible for giving us that criminal Ahern.
    Excellent post BOCK.
    The DDDA was probably just a means to an end for the clever Bertie and his grasping cronies.

  14.  

    Down and out — I thought you said that the public sector was paid more than in other countries. Did you not mean that?

  15.  

    The one thing that’s being overlooked is that Irish Glass bottle only leased the site .. it belonged to the state. They were taking a court case to try and seize the site but the case never seemed to be heard. Next thing it’s in Nama for €420 big ones. Looks and smells like a scam.

  16.  

    The only man as far as I am aware who was a Minister for Finance and didn’t have a bank account. Makes you wonder why he didn’t have a bank account doesn’t it?

    There;s a story behind that one that has yet to emerge I suspect. Was he a bankrupt? In which case he was not even entitled to sit in the Dail as a TD. I note also that the notorious episode where his mattress was flying off to Manchester to deposit cash with a Garda driver taking her to the airport. I can’t help wondering about the reason why our erstwhile former Minister of Finance in middle age in the 1990’s didn’t have a bank account- and If he was telling the truth about that (which I agree is a somewhat optimistic postion to take where Ahern is concerned) then the reason why he didn’t have a bank account should be examined.

    There are one or two possible side benefit to an investigative journalist going down this route. Firstly if its discovered he wasn’t entitled to be a TD because of financial problems in earlier life then his pension as a TD and a Minister could be challenged legally, no?

    It would be a great stroke and cheer the country up enormously if one of Berties schemes came back and bit him financially on the arse by having hs pension(s) swiped because hew wasn’t entitled to the job in the first place?

    Maybe he’ll swing a lectureship at the LSE on corporate governance. I’m sure his old alma mater would be delighted to see him again. He had an impressive CV for an accounts clerk from the Mater Hospital.

  17.  

    @ Pope no. 8.. I’m thinking the same myself. It didn’t just vanish into thin air.

    I find unstranger’s comment regarding Bertie’s family a little distasteful and irrelevant
    “Ahern senior eventually settled in Drumcondra and raised his family to be peevishly disaffected blow-ins without any true familial identity or history of which they could be proud. They were to all intents and purposes brought up by a bitter bastard who never gave them anything but a grá for all things negative and destructive.”.. gimme a break unstranger really.. You are repeating hearsay as legitimate fact.. what’s his father got to do with anything really. Judge the man on his actions alone, not what family he was born into.

  18.  

    FME I agree. I was not going to comment on Unstranger’s sad anti Dublin rant, after all such crap is typical of his ilk. As it happens I live in Drumcondra , a few doors away from the family home of Charlie Haughey . I find both of these Bertie and Charlie persons to be beneath contempt. However I am very much in a minority. Most of the F.F. filth are voted into office by the Provinces, and then imposed on Dublin . Corruption it seems is a requirement to the voters in order to gain office.

  19.  

    This is fascinating to me, Bock, because I worked for the Custom House Docks Development Authority (presumably the DDDA’s predecessor?) in the first months, just after it was set up to develop the first swath of dockland. That other notorious FF crook, Charlie Haughey, was Taoiseach then and, if memory serves, Bertie was the Mayor of Dublin? I sat beside him at a luncheon once; all I remember is that he had back problems. Have to admit I was surprised to hear he became Taoiseach; certainly didn’t appear to me to have the smarts for it. When I left the CHDDA, to come to Canada, Frank Benson was CEO and Fitzpatrick was just beginning to rear his ugly head in Dublin banking. I seem to remember him sniffing around, trying to get in on the action. It was all a long time ago, but it’s sad to see how greed, cronyism and huckstering has ruined what started out as a hopeful project, with some great, visionary people involved. It really was a more innocent time, before the Celtic fucking Tiger came along and shat all over everything.

  20.  

    @ Down and out

    “shuffle old files around or lick stamps, courtesy of the taxpayer…”

    What ignorant crap. I’m sick of this shite. Lazy, incompetent mindset.

  21.  

    FME. (Don’t worry Bock; I am not going to mention Arthur Cox, William Fry, Mops, O’Donnel Sweeney.Oops) Very few of these law firms or accountancy firms broke any laws. The laws that are there are designed for a little bit of leeway and obfuscation. You talked about tax havens being used to hide money. The question should be – why do we have tax havens? Tax havens are there so that the wealthy can hide money from the taxman; nothing else. The Eu said that it was going to shut these tax haven down; and yet every day rivers of revenue is lost to Litchenstein, Jersey, the Isle of man and the Caribeen. The tax laws are written by those who benefit. Why would they change them. Look at Switzerland, the neutral country, the world’s escrow account. This country prides itself on its flag of peace. What have they to be proud of. They’re banks are holding companys for money that is soon-to-be warfunds. African Dictators and drug lords are the clients of these institutions. Their banks are savings accounts for the spoils of war. Accountancy and law firms just use the tools that are offered to them by legislators who don’t so much turn a blind eye to corruption, as write it down and call it law. And even if Paul Appleby thinks that Law firms or accountancy firms broke the law, I can’t wait to see him trying to prove it. They will have him up to his specticles in unconnected, mileading paperwork.

  22.  

    Have you been listening to Michael Portillo’s series on BBC Radio four examining democracy. Excellent!

    Darren

  23.  

    @ Bock. Yes I did mean that the public sector is paid 25% more than their private sector counterparts. But the next post was intended to indicate that if you are in the private sector you can be fired so if you do not perform it is your own problem (will creates competency in itself), whereas in the state sector the possibility of being fired for incompetence is remote, at best. I see Yobbah is working for the State sector as per his/her bristling at my observations. Truth hurts huh?

  24.  

    @ Yobbah- Do you not listen to the radio Yobbah?
    There was a programme on a few months ago about how the Social Welfare staff were playing cards in the office, because they had “no work to do” when there were queues around the block waiting to get in. Oh hold on a second Yob`s, let`s not forget that another radio programme highlighted the fact that some state workers did not know what their actual job description was and were confused as to what they were meant to do from day to day.

    I have further information regarding how ”hard” state sector workers work, but won`t bother you with the detail as you probably have too much of a workload to digest it.

    You go and enjoy your state pension Yobbah, courtesy of the taxpayer.

  25.  

    Oddly enough, I didn’t see too many bankers being fired either.

    It’s an interesting point though. What private sector groups are you using to compare with the pay of fire service personnel and police?

  26.  

    Could not agree more Bock. Certain Bankers should not only be fired but be put in jail. Police, fire and nurses do a hard dangerous job. My wholehearted thanks to them and I say take away the bankers bonuses and distribute it amongst the thin blue line that keep the scum of the earth at bay.
    To find a parity in the private sector would be difficult as these are sectors unique in themselves. But generally speaking 25% is a conservative figure across the board.

    P.S. I digress, have you heard Conor Lenihans justification for the new social welfare cuts. In the North benefits are less than ours so it`s ok and just dandy to screw everyone on benefits over, again! Can someone please send him a list of the prices here, as opposed to the North. Easy to live on over a 100k a year and pontificate to us. Another example of unbelievable arrogance.

  27.  

    Most people that I know who have been able to find employment work in the financial sector. Cruel irony.

  28.  

    How do the government come up with pay levels for staff with jobs that have no private sector counterpart?

    D&O I think welfare in the UK stands at around £60, not including other additional benefits–virtually impossible to live on. I heard a TD going on about the ‘substantial’ percentage rise in the pension during the boom, are they going after the pensioners?

  29.  

    @ irate chemist — Try living as an adult with kids, on a 196 Euro a week here, with these insane prices.
    It would not surprise me one bit if they hit the pensioners next. They wont take it lying down though, like with the Medical cards. Good on them!
    Watch them turn Leinster house into a no- go area. I do not think anyone will lift a hand to stop them either. I can`t wait to see that one…..

  30.  

    I can only imagine. I don’t think they have the backbone to hit the pensioners, they will go for other softer targets first. Why don’t they close up some tax loop holes? Or they could tell Shell that the Corrib deal is off, due largely to its ridiculousness, and we could drill our own gas–couple of billion long term. Of course that would hurt a lot of their friends and big business, rocking the boat like.

  31.  

    I think the government has pursued a very successful strategy to divide the Irish workforce by setting one side against the other. Thus we have wholesale blame of public sector workers like nurses, fireman, ambulance drivers, paramedics, road workers, sewerage plant operators, water supply workers, instead of blaming crooked politicians and bankers. It wasn’t nurses and firemen who caused the collapse of the Irish economy. It was thieves.

  32.  

    Bring back Bertie!!

    Read what Biffo said today. Now can you fucking believe this? It is actually too much to bear. I am actually embarrassed for his sake. They are moving to cut social welfare again, but read this shit……

    *******The economy has reached a turning point with the worst now over, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said today. In an address to a Fianna Fáil meeting in Athlone, Mr Cowen said the challenge is to now move with confidence and ambition into a new phase of recovery and renewal. The Taoiseach said Ireland was returning to growth and seeing an upturn in confidence.”While we face another difficult budget ahead, for the Irish economy the worst is now over,” he said.********

    Hold on a second! Is it because I`se stupid? The worst is over and we are returning to growth but they are making additional cuts to social welfare. Some growth economy this is!! At least Bertie almost made you believe the crap he spoke (almost).

    Someone tell Biffo the property crash is almost upon us, because we ain`t seen nothing yet, and when the hundreds of thousands of home repos hit the market, another 100 000 people leave for greener pastures, and there are even more vacant houses, and still no jobs, and we default on the national debt, then see this economy go into reality — junk bond status. If it is before the 2 yr time limit on FF is up, he will still be singing the same song.

    That my friends, is what is wrong in Ireland, in a nutshell. Politicians bury your heads and pretend everything is ok so you don`t learn, don’t plan and don’t rectify the problems. It is far easier to speak shit and bury your head in the sand and hope it will all go away.

    Fuck me! I have now heard it all….

  33.  

    @Bock. Dead right. But the coffers can no longer sustain the pay, pension contributions and inefficiencies of the huge state sector, given the unemployment situation with no income to the state coffers. The problem now is the public sector all bought houses based on the their, pay and now have insane mortgages to cover. So to cut their pay will create even more havoc.

  34.  

    Bock you hit the nail on the head with comment No.31. Regrettably it seems that very few of us can see through the “dived and conquer” strategy of the current filth pots.
    O.K. folks the answer to all our problems is to sack the public service. All that is required is a change in law. Then when your house catches fire you can put it out yourself with buckets of metered water. When you have a heart attack the next door neighbour will look after you. You can teach your kids at home to third level no problem.
    Some of us will not accept the Government, Bankers, developers Etc. Standing up on our shoulders and shitting on our heads and then licking their arses clean. But it seems we are in a minority.
    By the way I am not a civil servant.

  35.  

    Down and out — You’d have to come up with references to support your statement that our public sector is huge. As far as I can see, Ireland has always devoted far more meagre resources to public services than most of our European neighbours. Can you refer to some figures to support your view?

  36.  

    –e.g. 136 000 HSE employees = 3% of population?
    –public sector pay bill of €20bn
    –public sector pension rights valued at between 15 and 20 times final pay at retirement and amounting to over €100,000,000,000 in locked-in future income guarantees
    — The other EU countries have industry and commerce to pay for their state sector. Oh, thats right, we have Eamon Ryan and some broadband and wind farms coming in the far distant future…..

  37.  

    I meant comparative figures to support the position that the Irish public sector is bigger than those of other European countries. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just asking for the figures. Otherwise, we’ll end up with no basis for discussion.

    Apart from that, I don’t believe the size of the public sector has anything to do with the Dublin Docklands. Does it?

  38.  

    @BOCK: Just before I go.

    Senators —-60 useless senators contributing nothing more than wind. They have no power of Veto, no power to pass bills. Their function is to debate bills and talk shit, while the poor taxpayer gets fucked over and over again… They all have other part time jobs mind you, just to rub shite in our faces, on top of everything else the taxpayer has to pay for.

    Let`s look at FAS ——(2009 reports)—
    PAY rates for FAS managers grew twice as fast as those of normal employees over the past decade, figures revealed in 2009.
    FAS staff employed at management level pulled in €23.6m between them in 2008, compared to a total management wage bill of just €7.8m in 1998
    Figures released by then Tanaiste Mary Coughlan in 2009– the Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister — show that for every one extra employee taken on between 1998 and 2008, FAS employed the equivalent of two-and-a-half extra managers. *****Fuck Me, if that`s not overstaffing I don`t know what is!!!**********
    The pay bill for FAS managers also rose twice as fast as that of non-managers in that period. Average pay at management levels jumped from €45,967 in 1998, when there were 170 managers, to €81,414 – 2008 –, when the number of top-level employees reached 291.
    In comparison, average pay for FAS operatives, the lowest-paid employees, jumped from €15,303 to €27,571 over the course of the decade.
    Average pay across all non-management grades now stands at €44,200 in 2009.
    The figures, released to Fine Gael TD George Lee following a series of parliamentary questions, have led to accusations that the crisis-hit agency has become bloated with an unnecessarily high number of management staff.
    They show that in 1997, FAS had one manager for every 11 non-management member of staff. By 2008 there was ONE manager for every 6.8.
    The agency in 2009 had 22,000 staff and a budget of €1bn a year.

    Now that`s a small indication of how overstaffed Ireland is in the State Sector, in just 2 or 3 little sectors, across the vast army of state sector workers.

    Go and have a look at Tourism Ireland, Failte Ireland, Waterways Ireland and see how many people they all employ to do the same job.

    Jesus, I could go on and on and on………..

  39.  

    @ Bock:
    Overlap there on my last post before your last post 37. It`s morphed away form the Docklands. Lets talk about the docklands waste……

  40.  

    Down and out — The Senate isn’t the public service so we’ll have to ignore that.

    FÁS is a semi-state agency and therefore also outside the scope of the discussion, although we all agree it was highly dysfunctional.

    What figures were you using when you said that the Irish public sector was bloated compared to other countries? Was this statement based on a study you read, or a report of some sort? You still haven’t provided the comparative figures for other countries to show that Ireland’s civil service and public service are overstaffed. I really would like to see the figures you based your claim on.

  41.  

    Bock. Firstly, the definition of public sector, are businesses and industries that are owned or controlled by the government. Obviously staff who work in these sectors are public sector workers. The figures are all in the public domain, go and have a look. I am not referring to one specific report.

    1)The UK NHS @ 2.11% of population as opposed to our HSE at 3.07%.
    2) UK have 649 MP`s that`s 1 MP for every 94628 people
    3) We have 166 TD` that`s 1 Td for every 26660 people. Not just a little bit overstaffed, would you say? If that`s not overstaffed, I give up. Maybe they are not public servants like the senators.

    Who pays the senators salaries? They are not in the public service? Whose service are they in? Maybe they are in the private sector working for themselves, and we don’t know about it, wouldn`t surprise me at all. I know they only work a few days a year, get paid shitloads and have other jobs, which in itself is an obscenity.

    Maybe you have information that FAS gets it`s 1 billion a year from sources other than from the government coffers? Please enlighten me if this is the case. Any organisation with a budget from the government, owned or controlled thereby, is a public sector organisation and should be classified as public sector workers. That`s another part of the problem. We have been left with this quasi, semi state private partnership half state bullshit sector, producing fuck all, costing millions, and people think we can only classify public sector workers as cops, nurses and road cleaners……..

    That was part of the scam, don’t you see? Classifying public sector workers as semi private quasi bullshit partners, and whatever else they could dream up, to hide state expenditure.

    It made the taxpayer think that all those 4000+ (and counting) insane quangos, were semi private, and making their own money, paying their own way. Meanwhile back at the ranch the taxpayer footed the bill. That is 1 quango for every 1000 people! It is amazing our economy did not collapse sooner.

    Which was my point all along. The insanely overstaffed public sector (yes, overstaffed as per above), was designed to create jobs so everyone could get on the gravy train and keep throwing votes their way.

    Why would you vote for anyone else if things were that good? But now our grandchildren are going to pay for those short term policies.

    P.S – We are so fucked the 200million or whatever, DDA fuck up, won`t matter one iota. There`s plenty more where that came from………….

  42.  

    @ Down and out
    I had a hectic week that time and was rather rude to you, but I’ve been listening to that shite for two years.

    I detest having my and my colleagues backs stabbed while helping the vulnerable and you have plenty of friends in high places who love what you’re doing.

    I won’t go into it any more on this thread, but I am rather sick of the “Banks are Bad but Public Sector Workers are right Fuckers” Brigade. My reply is, there’s a Fianna Fail Cumann in your area, join it.

  43.  

    Thanks for the informative summary of the DDA business.

    Post 11 here suggests that the IMF may come in in two years. The IMF is already here. Do you think that they have nothing at all to do with the epic sell-off of every last national asset we have, from Coillte to our radio wave bands.

    The IMF isn’t Mother Teresa, it has a neo liberal agenda and will strip us bare to pay the banks.

    Interesting discussion on Politicalworld.org on Bertie’s forestry interests btw…

  44.  

    if someone had time, it would be very interesting to completely untangle the whole corporate mess around this, e.g. who “owned” what, controlled this or that, and even down to the complete accounts and ledgers. It has been a common and dodgy practice to get an off-shore company, controlled by a trust fund, to send an invoice for some services rendered, to get money out of a deal like this and out of the country. I think I spotted one ex-now-broke-developer the other day in a local shop waving a credit card that may have been issued by an off-shore bank.

  45.  

    Paul Coulson was the real genius in this. He spotted a legal angle everyone else missed and ended up owning the whole lot. I must write about it soon.

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