Economy Favourites

Dublin Docklands Development Authority and the Bertie Ahern Curse

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


Máire Geoghegan-Quinn Hands Back Pension

So there you have it.  Máire Geoghegan-Quinn decided to hand back her ministerial pension for the duration of her tenure as an EU Commissioner.


Because of the public outcry.

And how do you measure a public outcry?

Well you don’t, unless you happen to own a TV station, in which case you send out some reedy-voiced cub reporter to interview gobshites on the streets of Ireland.

You’re a middle-aged man standing here outside the dole office and I’m a nervous 23-year-old girlie trying to look grown up.  So tell me, do you feel outraged that MGQ is getting a 100k pension?

I do.




I do.  I feel …



Look, the general public don’t think at all.  We know that, because if they did, we wouldn’t have Fianna Fáil in government and MGQ wouldn’t be getting the hot job in Brussels.  This public outcry is something whipped up by loudmouth  populist gobshites like Joe Duffy as a substitute for genuine analysis.

It’s begrudgery dressed up as social concern, and it shows how low journalism in Ireland has sunk.

Let’s examine it rationally.

Should ministers have a special pension at all?

In my opinion, no they shouldn’t.  It’s a privilege to serve in government, and as we’ve seen with the Bertietron, there’s plenty of money to be made schmoozing after leaving office.

Asking MGQ to relinquish the ministerial pension in the public interest is nonsense.  By taking the Commission job, she’s no longer on the Irish public payroll, and therefore not taking a double hit of taxpayers’ money, save for the minuscule contribution we make to her salary as part of our EU obligations.

Many people retire from one job and take up another.  It’s normal, and would only be objectionable if MGQ was being paid on the double by the State.

But hold on.  Isn’t that what every former minister in our parliament does?  Aren’t they all getting a ministerial pension and a TD’s salary?

Oops!  Now we can see why the FF ministers trampled over each other to say that MGQ should relinquish the pension temporarily.  If they didn’t, public attention would focus on their own cosy little arrangement, while they exhort us to starve as part of our patriotic duty.

The question to be more properly put is this: why don’t all former ministers give up their pensions while they’re receiving a TD’s salary?

You couldn’t have that, though.  Could you?  Next thing you know, they’ll be saying Bertie shouldn’t have a free limo and two chauffeurs to drive him around the country promoting his daughter’s chick-lit novels.

And that, my friends, is why Máire Geoghegan-Quinn was forced to hand back the ministerial pension, for now.  But fear not.  This is a cross-party worry for ex-ministers, and you can be certain that a future administration, no matter what its colour, will find a lucrative slot for MGQ to make up the difference.

Watch this space.


Bertie Ahern Gets €29,000 Per Fight

I nearly forgot to mention Bertie Ahern’s foreign fighting engagements.

Did you know that the shape-shifting shitebag is getting twenty-nine grand a pop to beat up foreigners?

I kid you not.  This is an EXACT quote from the Register of Members’ Interests for 2009.

Travel facilities.  Fights/Accommodation.

(1) 11/12 February 2009, New York Business Conference: Washington Speakers Bureau, 1663 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA22314, USA;

(2) 17/20 February 2009 Honduras: Washington Speakers Bureau, 1663 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA22314, USA;

(3) 26/27 February 2009, New York, Moyne College: Washington Speakers Bureau, 1663 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA22314, USA;

(4) 30 March/1 April 2009, Bari, Italy: FAI, Abbotstown, Dublin 15;

(5) 23/24 April 2009, Nigeria: Washington Speakers Bureau;

(6) 15 April 2009, Edinburgh University, Scotland: Inaugural Lord Provost’s Banquet;

(7) 15/16 June 2009, London: Co-operation Ireland, 20 Herbert Place, Dublin 2;

(8) 8/9 June, New York: Co-operation Ireland, 20 Herbert Place, Dublin 2;

(9) 14/15 July 2009, Washington: Co-operation Ireland, 20 Herbert Place, Dublin 2;

(10) 22/25 September 2009, New York: Co-operation Ireland, 20 Herbert Place, Dublin 2, Clinton Global Initiative;

(11) 20 October 2009, Amsterdam: Ireland/Netherlands Business Association, Rokin 99-101, 1012KM Amsterdam;

(12) 22 October 2009, New York: Parker Green International, Drumalane Mill, Newry, Co. Down;

(13) 23/24 October 2009, Chicago: Parker Green International, Drumalane Mill, Newry, Co. Down;

(14) 3/4 November 2009, Madrid: Washington Speakers Bureau, 1663 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA22314, USA;

(15) 9/11 November 2009, England: Durham University, Mo Mowlam Memorial Lecture;

(16) 19/22 November 2009, Dubai: World Economic Forum, 91-93 Route de la Capite, CH-1223 Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland.

Last year, Bertie fought in New York five times.  He fought once in Honduras, Italy, Nigeria, Scotland, Holland, Dubai  and Spain.  He had two fights in England and one each in Washington and Chicago.

Apparently, he paid for the Scottish fight himself and the FAI paid for the scrap in Italy, but he got a purse of €29,268 for each of the others, making a total of €409,752.

That’s not bad, is it?  €409,752 on top of his TD’s salary of €101,446 and his ministerial pension of €162,000.  Not to mention his book sales which the Revenue Commissioners kindly agreed to exempt from tax, and of course the free 24-hour chauffeur service to promote it.

I hope his next engagement is with some other retired bastard.

Mike Tyson, for example.


Martin Cullen Resigns

On a personal level, I sympathise with Martin Cullen.  Ten or twelve years ago, I experienced a problem with my back that was so severe I could barely walk, and so I can understand how badly he must be affected by his injuries.  Nobody who hasn’t been there can understand the feeling of trepidation that you might end up in a wheelchair if things don’t work out.

I was there for a brief period and that’s why, as a man, I feel sympathy for him.

On the other hand, as a politician, he’s a knobhead, and the country is all the richer for his resignation.  One less fool in a government of fools.

Cullen’s entire career has been characterised by petulance and immaturity.

Last January, he compared press reports alleging he had an affair to being raped, but this insult to genuine rape victims was far from his only act of stupidity.  At the end of 2008, he told a stunned reporter that he would support the idea of an Irish soccer club playing in the English Premier League.

But of course, for sheer density, Cullen’s defense of the patently unworkable e-voting machines takes some beating.  His leather neck, combined with a total failure to understand the issues, allowed him to come on national radio and defend a flawed, anti-democratic computer system even after an investigation had shown to the whole world that these machines would never again be used by anyone, except perhaps as weights for fishing nets.

Now, admittedly, his thuggish cabinet colleague, Noel Dempsey, was the man responsible for the fiasco, and his cretinous leader, Bertie Ahern, was the fool responsible for lecturing us about modernity,  but Cullen’s stupidity was such that he failed to grasp one fundamental point: the whole thing was a load of shit.

Some people would call it loyalty.  Others would suggest it bordered on the moronic.

Cullen’s record is not inspiring, but I know before you say it what’s on your mind.  You’re wondering why I’d single him out from a cabinet of cretins, and in truth, perhaps you’re right.  After all, if there was ever a gallery of the bland, the mediocre and the incompetent, it’s this current government and its former leader.  From the mumbling platitudes of Batt O Keeffe to the arrogant bluster of Mary Coughlan, they truly are a sad bunch, and perhaps it’s unfair to select Martin Cullen above this pantheon of dullness.

In many ways, I suppose, Cullen’s greatest achievement is to look stupid in such company as Éamonn Ryan, Éamonn Ó Cuiv and Mary Hanafin., but it’s a nice thought that his  resignation will prompt a cabinet reshuffle.

What could be more appropriate from a bunch of shuffling zombies?


Bertie Ahern Rises From The Dead

I picked up the newspaper today.  The newspaper, you know?  That thing you used to read one time, and it was full of information called news?


So anyway, I picked up the Opinionsheet, and there’s Bertie Ahern on the front page, wearing a pair of 3D glasses, and staring upwards vacantly with his big ignorant, uneducated potato head.  Our future president, and former prime minister, the illiterate gobshite.  A man who has never managed to read a book, except perhaps that magnificent work of 20th century literature, PS I Love You.

There he is, staring into space with his Avatar glasses on him, and you wonder what he’s watching, as the only thing he could ever claim for a success disintegrates around him.  The North.

Whatever about the collapse of our economy under his stewardship, Bertie could always point to the North and tell the world he created the Agreement.  This was what enabled the stumbling, unlettered clod to address the American houses of congress on our behalf.  I must admit, on that day, I hid under a dustbin until he was finished embarrassing the Irish nation.  I’d have been happier to send my dog to address the houses of congress.

But in any case, it was open to Bertie Ahern, the corner-boy, who learned his trade in the back-alleys of Drumcondra cutting inconsequential deals with even more limited political gobshites, to claim the Good Friday agreement as his own.  And so he did.  So indeed did Bertie, by duplicity, two-facedness and glad-handing, somehow mesmerise the hardened Northern politicians, the Sammies and the Wesleys, the Willies and the Billies and the Bobbies, into believing that not all politicians from Mexico were crooked.

Some men I keel for money, but joo my fren’, I keel you for notheen.

The Nordies had never met such a barefaced liar as Bertie Ahern, and it worked for a while.

But you see, though Bertie might be stupid and ignorant in the classic sense that you or I would understand it, he’s far from stupid in other ways.  Though Bertie Ahern might well be a man you wouldn’t waste three minutes on if you met him in a pub, because his conversation is so limited and because he hasn’t two ideas to rub together, Bertie’s reptilean proto-brain never stops scheming.

Bertie knew full well that the Northern agreement would go tits up, because it involved two polar opposites, the Provos and the fundamental Prods, but that didn’t matter as long as Bertie got the short-term credit.

Bertie doesn’t have a goldfish memory, but he has the ethics of a carp.

Likewise, any fool could see that Bertie, by his greed and cronyism, was driving the Irish economy over a cliff, and even Bertie himself, the ignorant fool, knew it full well.  But Bertie the cynic knew that he’d be clear and free before the truth really hammered home to the Irish people.

There truly is no limit to this man’s lack of shame, and he will present himself for the Presidency.

If we vote him in, this buffoon, this clown, this no-account snake-oil merchant, than we truly deserve whatever he’s done to us.

I wonder what he was watching with his 3D glasses?  Chavatar?


Bertie’s Autobiography Gets Artist’s Tax Exemption

I’m a bit late coming to this due to the distractions caused by Squinting Iris.


What about Bertie Ahern’s autobiography, PS I Skrood Ya?

He got a tax exemption for it.  An artist’s tax exemption.

What does this mean?  It means he pays no tax on his earnings from it.  None at all.

Bertie’s story of how an ignorant North-Dublin corner-boy brought the country to its knees will make him a fortune on which he’ll pay no tax whatever.  Furthermore, the State is paying for the car and driver he uses to tour the country promoting the book.

How did he pull this stroke with your money, do you reckon?

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau,

income earned by artists, writers, composers and sculptors from the sale of their works is exempt from tax in Ireland in certain circumstances.

Section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997 allows the Revenue Commissioners to make a determination that certain artistic works are original and creative works generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit. Accordingly, earnings derived from these works are exempt from income tax from the year in which the claim is made.

In order to qualify for tax exemption, a book has to be both original and creative, and has to be generally recognised as having cultural or artistic merit.

So here you go.

The work has to meet these criteria:

It has to be original AND creative.

It has to be generally recognised as having EITHER cultural OR artistic merit.

Let’s take that definition to pieces, starting with the second bit.

I reckon nobody would disagree that a biography of Bertie Ahern is of cultural merit, taking the word cultural in its broadest sense, though probably not in the sense originally intended.  We’ll let him away with that.

Generally recognised as having cultural merit.  How did they measure that bit, I wonder?  How did they establish that a book which has been on the shelves about a month is generally recognised as having cultural merit?  Did the Revenue Commissioners, like de Valera, look into their hearts to divine what the people of Ireland think of Bertie’s odyssey?  Did they take the defunct e-voting machines out of storage and leave them in the corner of chip-shops with one question only – Wat didja tink a me bewk?

How exactly did the Revenue Commissioners conclude that a book of such recent origin is generally considered to be of any merit at all?  I’d be fascinated to know how this is done.

Going back to the first criterion, I think there’s probably no real quibble.  It has to be original and creative.

Well, I sincerely hope there aren’t two Bertie Aherns on this planet, so the book is in all likelihood original.

And any biography of Bertie Ahern is going to be thoroughly creative.

After all, if Bertie Ahern isn’t creative with the books, who is?


Professor Bertie Ahern

NUI Maynooth has appointed Bertie Ahern  as a visiting professor.

Think about that now for a minute.

Pic: Caricatures Ireland

Professor Bertie Ahern.

I remember a time when professors were widely-read people with interests and knowledge extending far beyond their area of specialisation.  Erudite, inquisitive people with a restless curiosity and a desire to understand all that came their way.


Now, Ireland is not short of oxymorons and never was.  We have the Irish Management Institute.  We have Garda Intelligence.  We have the Financial Regulator.  We have the Christian Brothers.

But to my mind, the most outlandish oxymoron yet has to be the violent yoking together of the title “Professor” and the name “Bertie Ahern”.

Wanted.  Visiting professor.

Qualifications:  Must be illiterate, anti-intellectual, dishonest gobshite with no ethical standards.

Forget the Large Hadron Collider.  Scrap it.  We don’t need it.

Pic: Green Ink

Putting Professor in front of Bertie Ahern’s name will cause an event — not just a singularity, not merely a tear in the space-time continuum, not a folding of space and not only the collapse of the galaxy — but the universe’s greatest wormhole for the universe’s greatest worm

This will cause a new phenomenon previously unknown to science: the Cosmic Absurdity, and the ripples from it will echo all the way back to the Big Bang.

Remind me if I’m wrong about something here, but wasn’t Ahern the man who crashed our economy into a cliff, accepted bags of money from dodgy builders, treated the subsequent inquiry with contempt, sneered at those who expressed misgivings about his ill-conceived e-voting system, gave over a billion euros of public money to bail out the child-abusing clergy, handed over our gas resources for nothing to the multinationals and lied barefaced to the nation on the main evening news?

What did they make him professor of?

Mediation and conflict intervention.

In other words, he’s there to teach the students how a slippery, two-faced liar can pull the wool over people’s eyes by believing two different things at the same time.  When you swallow your own lies, everyone thinks you’re the straightest man in the world.

There you go.  This self-centred, ruthless, deceitful corner-boy, who headed the criminal conspiracy called Fianna Fáil that bankrupted the country, is honoured with a professorship in a college of the national university.

Well, I suppose if anyone asks him how he earned this academic post without being able to read and write, he can always say he won it on a horse.


More on Bertie Ahern


Bertie Ahern Writes His Autobiography: PS I Screwed You

Bertie Ahern is signing copies of his autobiography, PS, I Screwed You.

It’s up to you which signature you prefer — an X or a thumb-print.


It tells the story of a simple corner-boy who overcame huge handicaps to become leader of his nation.

A complete idiot, he was nevertheless blessed with extraordinary native cunning and the ability to tell outrageous lies with a straight face.  His proudest boast was that he knew absolutely nothing about anything, and never would.


Though he never learned to read, write or speak any known language coherently, Ahern gained control of the ruling party and in the most spectacular political feat in Irish history, managed to crash an entire economy and reduce the state to bankruptcy while remaining popular with his many followers.

The book is available in all good booksellers, retailing at €16.99, or £15 sterling in used notes thrown off the back of a speeding motorbike.

NAMA Politics

Bertie Ahern Writes Sports Column For News of the World

Sorry?  What?

Bertie Ahern is writing a weekly sports column for the Sunday World, did you say?

No.  I’m afraid not.  It’s worse. He has a column with the News of the World.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, the first thing is the word writing.  After all, this is a guy who has trouble scratching an X on a rock to sign his name, so how he could write a column is beyond me.  This cretin is functionally illiterate.

What a fucking arsehole.  This slithery reptile, whose election slogan in 2002 was A lot done, more to do, jumped ship when he realised that the economy was going down the toilet thanks to his stupidity, because of course, it’s perfectly possible to be stupid and cunning at the same time, as Ahern proves to the world.

A moron.  This  venal, grasping moron, in the pockets of the same property developers who have delivered three generations of Irish people into ruin, is now writing a sports column?

As somebody said to me this evening, Bertie’s column talks about Meath players swarming around the Mayo goal.  But not much talk from Bertie about the IMF swarming around the Irish economy.

No indeed.

Oh, hold on.  Wait a minute.  What am I saying?  Does anyone think this fool is actually writing the column? Are you mad?  No sane paper would trust this fool with his own column.  The whole thing is written by a fourteen-year-old copyboy, obviously, on the eminently logical principle that at least the 14-year-old can read and write, which is more than you can say for  Bertie, the idiot we allowed to crash our economy into a cliff.

For fucksake.

This is the fool we elected to run our government, and yes, you did see me saying We, even though I never, ever put my mark next to these eejits in a polling station, but yes, we, as a people, elected this fucking fool.  And now here he is again, putting his name to a sports column in a weekly newspaper.

Come on.  Gimme a break!

Boycott the fucking rag.  Boycott it, or bend over and take your punishment if you don’t, because if you support this shit you deserve everything NAMA is going to do to you.

You deserve the health cuts and the education cuts.  You deserve less policing, less security, worse roads, worse public transport.

All these things will come about, to pay for NAMA, and don’t ever forget that it was Bertie Ahern’s stupid gobshite policies that brought the catastrophe down on your head.

Don’t ever forget it: this is the gobshite who caused the current economic catastrophe.  Bertie Ahern, The Journalist Corner-Boy.

Go on.  Read him, and then pay up happily to bail out the banking fuckers who bought him, body and soul.


Here’s the prick in a box.

Politics Religion

Blasphemy Law – Ireland Officially in Dark Ages

The President has signed into law the Defamation Bill 2006 which contains an insane provision making it a crime to offend somebody’s religious views.


That’s it.  We fully deserve to be the laughing stock of the entire world.  Every maniac from the Scientologists to the Moonies now has carte blanche to bring private prosecutions against anyone they want to silence.  And believe me, the Scientologists will use this as will the lunatic Catholic fringe groups like Youth Defence.

Minister Dermot Ahern in his idiocy has opened the door to theocracy.

It is now a crime in Ireland to joke about any religion.

Fuck it, says Jesus.  Hitch up my chariot.  I’m outta here.

Holy Goose of Jesus in the Ben hur Chariot race, New unseen footage