Political Corruption in Ireland

The rot didn’t start yesterday

There’s no doubt that under the tutelage of Charlie Haughey, Fianna Fáil became a deeply dishonest and corrupt party, but there’s also no doubt that the cancer didn’t start with him.  Haughey only refined it, while others brought it to its ultimate disastrous and unavoidable conclusion.

If you delved back into the days of Taca, you might see how it all went thoroughly filthy, but you’d still have some more digging.  It wasn’t in the Sixties, or the Fifties, nor yet the Forties nor the Thirties that corruption took hold in Ireland.  And nor was it exclusively the domain of Fianna Fáil.  The homeopathic Fianna Fake also had its share of chancers and crooks, as one would expect of a doppelganger.

Nevertheless, look at Taca.  In the late 60s, Fianna Fáil actively reached out to the emergent entrepreneurial classes seeking funds, and in return they offered favours.  The more you paid, the more favourable FF policy would be to your case.  These men in mohair suits, masters of a backwater universe, swaggered around their little patch with a certain out-of-date, shabby panache that would only have impressed in an introverted, closed society like Ireland.

While the young people were discovering Woodstock and dropping out, or going to smoke their brains out in Notting Hill squats, these dishonest politicians and their red-nosed builder cronies were buying up huge tracts of derelict Dublin, and plotting to destroy our architectural heritage by subverting the planning laws in pursuit of grubby coinage.  The young Haughey, Lenihan, Colley and the rest were thoroughly corrupt and on sale for a price.  And in this benighted isle, where laws were for the little people, they cleaned up.

Yet, they were still the small-minded, forehead-knuckling serfs they had always been, with their surly resentment of colonial masters, their clumsy manners and their newly-acquired veneer of sophistication. Masters of vulgarity.  Haughey, with his instant art collection, his instant stately home, his instant wine cellar, his instant yacht, his instant island retreat  and his instant string of horses, was probably the most embarrassing of them, but he was by no means the only lout who managed to impress the yokels because he was marginally less ignorant than they were.

Lenihan was more cultured by comparison, but that wasn’t a difficult feat in a country that had erected a puritanical church-imposed, cultural wall for decades.  In the Irish kingdom of the blind, Lenihan was the one-eyed man.  They were a sorry bunch, but they had the country by the short-hairs.  Their lack of vision gave us a society where the citizens pay for everything and where public services are minimal.  They underfunded the defence forces.  They sold the telephone network.  They were bought by the crooked beef industry.  They prostituted themselves  to big builders.  They sucked the cocks of newspaper owners.

Haughey phoned his Provo friends and secured Ben Dunne’s release from kidnap.  In return, Dunne was forever grateful and paid Haughey millions.  Thanks, Big Fella, said the malevolent midget, and yet, he was never as much in hock to big money as his so very very ‘umble servant, Uriah Ahern, who later  handed billions to the church that put him where he is through his connections with the Knights of Columbanus.

Throughout the twentieth century, the Knights of Columbanus (building division) grew rich out of corruption, double-dealing and unfair manipulation of due process.  In the late seventies and early eighties, they orchestrated corrupt planning decisions in North Dublin and  the corrupt awarding of monopoly contracts to operate toll-bridges across the Liffey.  Their numbers included many of Ireland’s leading architects, engineers, builders and developers, and they were up their necks in many property scandals, including the great rezoning disgrace of North Dublin.  Rezoning was big.  In the early 80s, Dublin politicians of every shade were bribed with money funnelled through small, unremarkable consultancies with connections to the Knights.  The recipients of bribes included councillors and TDs, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael members.

Meanwhile, since the Thirties, we had the cancer that was Roadstone.  Tom Roche Snr was a crook who founded Roadstone and little by little managed to gain control of the State’s quarries through corrupt deals, bribery and dishonest transfers from public bodies under the instruction of politicians.  Eventually, Roche’s company gained almost monopolistic control of the country’s road-building resources.  Before Roche, all  county councils operated their own quarries and produced their own material at no nett cost.

In order to ease  Roche’s path to domination, Fianna Fáil minister Todd Andrews executed a policy of destroying our railways, thus ensuring that all transport construction expenditure would have to take place on the roads, and all the money went to the Riches who now owned all the old council quarries.

To make sure that this would always be so, Andrews ordained that strategic sections of the permanent way be sold off or destroyed so that no future government in centuries to come might reverse his decisions.  In time, Roadstone would become the headquarters of an illegal bank, operated by Des Traynor, to administer the illegal Ansbacher accounts hiding the illicit offshore money of politicians and big business.

A Roadstone subsidiary — National Toll Roads — controls the two major river crossings in Dublin, and collects all the tolls on them, even though the Irish taxpayer funded the roads that delivered the customers to the bridges.  It was a corrupt political decision not to finish the job by building the bridges but to leave their construction instead to a private company.

That’s Ireland for you.


9 thoughts on “Political Corruption in Ireland

  1. A nice bit of context to put the Esat episode in Bock. I didn’t know about the knights of Columbanus involvement in all this. Thanks also for the great line “they sucked the cocks of newspaper owners” – attributes to them all the dignity they deserve.

  2. what about dev when he went to america to raise money prior to the signing of the treaty? a sum of 5 million was raised, dev during this trip spent 1 million. even though the irish free state was not in existence, and dispite the fact that dev was not the leader of a real country, he insisted in staying in the same hotels as the candidates who were running in the usa presidential elections.
    and during the years that fianna fail refused to take their seats because of an empty formula, did they also refuse their td salaries? i think not. they have been a corrupt entity from the very beginning.

  3. Nice precis. Wasn’t it the ultimate parody, schlock will eat itself, when that great vulgariste Charles Haughey finally made financial foie gras of his ‘best’ ‘friend’s’ liver, and Brian Lenihan’s sister and his sons quietly sat in their ‘sates’ and made no complaint? What a degraded immoral depraved bunch those FF’ers are. If they could wink at their own Dad’s illness being used by his so-called ‘best friend’ to enrich himself and buy trinkets and geegaws to ape the colonial masters, sure why would they have any problem nodding at Ireland’s so-called ‘neutrality’ (that killed so many in WW2) and ‘aspirational’ Constitutional duty to observe international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes to be prostituted at Shannon Warport? Not to mention the 800 years of having had others do to us what we help Boche and Bliar do to 1.3 million innocent Iraqis. Before we aided and abetted and conspired with vicious foreign despots to destroy them and their country, we profited from selling them rotten beef fraudulently classed for the purposes of getting CAP refunds as premium beef? We sold them rotten mince before getting paid more to turn them into mince. Did you mention the 150000 raped and molested Irish children to whom we traditionally turned our ‘blind’ eyes? How about the numberless ‘fallen’ women turned into slaves in Church laundries? How about the myriad nameless babies born still and dumped unbaptised into Potter’s Field’s without so much as a drop of holy water, their parents told they’d never get into heaven? We hawk justice in the marketplace like cabbage. We spout our pieties about being the world’s Most Oppressed People Ever and play up our so-called ’empathy’ with the oppressed of the earth just so’s we can gratify our National Narcissm by mingling with the ‘great and the good’ at the UN. Christ of Almight we are a disgusting rotten People to be sure to be sure and you can take that to the bank.
    O. I forgot. Sure we don’t have any banks anymore. None that don’t own us lock stock and rotten apple stuffed barrel. And it’s no more than we deserve.

  4. Even our National Anthem’s been turned into a filthy lie. ”No more our ancient sireland shaaahall shelllterrr a despot or a slave”. Or words to that effect can’t be bothered to check. Look down at Shannon Airport, where a million foreign troops and numberless kidnapped people of brown complexion are hoist unto torture murder and degradation. Look at damn near half a million unemployed, hundred thousand can’t pay their mortgages and millstones of neg eq round their necks and their children’s necks and all our necks yea unto the hundreth generation. Poxy despots and slaves all I can see 360 degrees in this slave-state this damp little Judea on the arse cheek of a nEU Roamin’ Empire. I won’t stand for that notional anthem anymore. Won’t stand for a Lie. We get what we deserve alright. We’re just a wandering band of sanhedrin now. Strangers in their own land. 40 years in the desert lads an lassies that’s what we deserve and that’s what we’re getting. Not a day less. Wake me up when it’s 2048. If Apophis hasn’t landed before then.

  5. But in fairness, we don’t deserve a country like this. We drove a tarmacadamed scian dubh through the cultural historical spiritual karmic heart of this country. We did it the way we did to enrich FF cronies. http://thetarafoundation.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/tara-landowners-will-reap-the-benefits-of-the-m3-motorway/
    And for all the roaring and shouting how many of those who protested have since driven the M3? I won’t, nor ever will. Doesn’t make me any less guilty than every single member of the Irish nation who’ve tolerated the constant betrayals of Ireland’s cause to cowardice inhumanity and rapine. I fly out of Shannon, thus enriching that obscene permanently moored and camofluaged in motley excuses and false pieties of a US weapons carrier. Just can’t bear to set wheel on the M3, knowing in me bones that it’s there because and only because a bunch of crooked Fianna Fail traitors wanted to pay off their accomplices. They really smashed this country’s karma to bits with that. Wasn’t it nice that Fate chose September 11 (2008) to sink the ship of state Asgard 2, 17 days before the economy officially started down that famous Road that’s paved with good intentions? ”Cheapest bailout you’ve ever seen (and would you like some fava beans and chianti with that slice of Mon Papa foie gras CJH?)”.

    What a country of cowardly wankers. We get all we deserve is true.

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