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Haughey was a crook, a megalomaniac, a thug, the worst thing that happened to Ireland in the last fifty years, a two-faced, thieving, bullying gangster who looked after all his crooked buddies and got huge sums of money from them in return.

How did he look after his crook buddies? Very simple: he made their problems go away.

And what were their problems?

They had only one: democracy.

I am tired of listening to people justifying Haughey.  A bit of a boyo. A bad lad. A complex character. A great intellect. A mercurial temperament.

A prick.

Forget the thieving for a minute. Just look at his  manipulation of people’s private lives.

This is the hypocrite who screwed all around him and then lectured us adults about Irish solutions for Irish problems. For younger people who don’t remember this lunacy, there was a time when you needed a doctor’s prescription to get a condom in this country, and Haughey presented this as a great advance. Before that, you couldn’t buy them at all! Can you believe that? Refer to my earlier letter to the bishop. An Irish solution to an Irish problem, in Haughey’s immortal shit-eating hypocritical words. This is the man who used the misery of thousands of Irish people by manipulating the first divorce referendum to his own venal grasping toadying advantage.

Haughey believed he was above the rule of law, as it related to everything from drink driving to paying tax. The small people had divorce problems. The small people had contraception problems. The small people paid interest on loans.

Every old man I see reminds me of my father.

The poem is called Memory of my Father, and Paddy Kavanagh was a lucky man to be in a position to write such a piece. I hope he wrote it with some affection. Many men today would be unable to write this line, and it isn’t because they can’t express themselves well, or don’t want to, or simply because they can’t write. It’s just that their fathers never lived to reach old age, and this was no accident. A hard life does that to you.

Many men in the fifties and sixties went to England, and lost their names on the building sites of East London and Birmingham and Milton Keynes. No longer Eamonn or Dan or Peter, they became Dublin, and Kerry, and Galway, and came to believe these were the names they had been given at birth. They lived on a diet of Woodbines, Guinness and dust. Some of them are still there, though most have died early in some freezing bedsit or laneway, and the ones who remain have no family, no friends and no home in Ireland that would want them back.

For the men of my father’s generation who were fortunate enough to find a job at home, life shaped itself around the factory siren, or the six-in-the-morning bus to some industrial estate, or the slaughterhouse, or the tearing at blue sucking mud, knee-deep in some Irish building site. You knew the sound of a working man’s trudge and you saw the exhaustion in his eyes. But you also saw honesty and an earnest desire to raise his family the best way he could manage.  Men of my father’s generation made their twice-weekly pilgrimage to the City Library and came back home with their quota of two fiction and one non-fiction book: as permitted by the censorship board. This is why intelligent men such as my father read a great amount by Zane Grey and Louis l’Amour.

It was an authoritarian state. A place of great deference to powerful figures. A place where any minor Council official stood in high regard. A place where a priest was beyond reproach, no matter what he did.

It was Albania.

Now. Here we have men like my father, and the fathers of my friends, and working-class people all over Ireland, trudging to work, and home, and being laid off and taking the boat, and most of all, trusting in Authority. Trusting in the greater wisdom of the Church and the State. Trusting and starving and emigrating and dying. They thought they were the citizens of this land and they couldn’t have been more wrong. While these poor bastards were slaving away, another class of people were quietly carving up deals and buying up land and looking after each other and building up a gigantic network of corruption that was eventually to cover the entire country.

The Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes, for example, supposedly a charity, was operated to the benefit of a single family, and made them immensely rich. When one brave journalist,  Joe MacAnthony, exposed the scam, and then went on to expose Ray Burke, work dried up for him and he was driven from the country.

Roadstone somehow came into possession of all the quarries formerly operated by County Councils and began to sell them back the chips they had previously made for themselves.  This was a corrupt transaction that laid the foundations for the vast wealth CRH enjoys to this day, and which the taxpayer still funds.

Our extensive rail network was torn up by a Fianna Fáil appointee to the chair of CIE, Todd Andrews, and to make sure that future generations wouldn’t be able to reinstate it, he sold off strategic stations, and destroyed crucial bridges.  Why?  So that nothing would ever threaten  Fianna Fáil’s cronies in Roadstone, who had been corruptly given a monopoly over the supply of road-building materials.

Into the middle of this ferment came Haughey. We needn’t dwell on his relationship with business, big or small, even though it appears that he did all his banking with a private, exclusive and wholly illegal institution run from the head office of Roadstone. Ansbacher, by name. Likewise, we needn’t dwell too long on the sources of his wealth, although I’d like to mention one small thing. Allied Irish Banks were afraid to take him on and demand back the money he owed them. Well and good.  But the same Allied Irish Banks entered a stupid business venture in the eighties and bought a British insurance company which subsequently collapsed. What happened? Simple: the government of the day, a Fine Gael government, decided this could cause the collapse of the Irish banking system, and so they imposed a levy on my income tax, and yours, and that of everybody else in the country. There ya go, AIB, have a big pile of the taxpayer’s money to get you out of the hole you dug for yourself. The same year, AIB announced huge profits.

I’d like my money back, please.

Around that same time, I bought my first house, and well remember having to show my EBS book to some nineteen-year-old girl in the tax office, to explain exactly where I got all the forty- and thirty- and fifty-pound lodgments. This was while Haughey was getting £150k and £300k from Ben Dunne. Right. I’m not going to mention belt-tightening here.  It’s too clichéd.  It is.

I’ll say it anyway. Haughey went on national television and told us to tighten our belts, while he was robbing the country blind. Treating his mates to grub at le Coq Hardi or Patrick Guilbaud’s, buying shirts in Paris, having pipelines built to his North Dublin estate to increase the land value, and all at whose expense? That’s right. At your expense. And at mine. They loved him in Dingle: they think he gave them a marina. They’ll tell you Charlie gave them their marina and they won’t hear a bad word said against him. Now let’s be clear – Charlie took the money from somebody else – some other Irish taxpayers – and diverted it to Dingle, not out of the kindness of his heart, but so that he could behave like some beneficent feudal lord.

It wasn’t his money. It was our money. But tighten your belts, gobshites.

Gobshites like my father, who trusted in Authority.

And when it came to a divorce referendum, Haughey came home from Paris where he’d been with another man’s wife at our expense, and announced his great belief in family values, thereby shafting the whole thing, and shafting all the desperate gobshites who only wanted to regularise their lives.

More gobshites who – like my father – trusted in Authority.

And when Ben Dunne (God bless him and God bless the cocaine that finally blew the whole filthy business wide open) took to a Florida jacuzzi with two Russian hookers and a pound of marching powder, and Margaret Dunne said What the fuck happened to our fuckin money? and when the Tribunals were finally set up and made a lot of lawyers rich and when Haughey was finally BUSTED! When that finally happened, and it turned out he owed the State a huge pile of tax, do you think he crouched outside a hatch where some nineteen-year-old girl demanded to know where he got this fifty pounds and that twenty pounds? No. They waited for years to give him a chance. They imposed no penalties and they didn’t take the full amount of tax he owed us. They also decided not to prosecute him, but waited instead for him to die, as he has now done, taking all the embarrassing details with him. An Irish solution to an Irish problem.

I feel no personal animosity towards CJ Haughey. Naturally, I think he was a ridiculous little man, a strutting coxcomb and a bully. I don’t think he could have risen as he did but for the climate of deference in Ireland at the time, and I’m amazed it took so long for people to see through him. But he was a man of his time, and he was a man beset by the same insecurities that plagued my father’s generation, of which he was a part, so I can understand his desperation not to fall back into the morass. However, Haughey was not a fool, and he understood every nuance of this issue. It didn’t stop him using people’s personal troubles to bolster his own political position, and in the final analysis, that’s what made him a cynic.

I think Haughey exemplifies everything that is venal and dishonest in Irish society, and that’s why I hated every second of his time in power.

Haughey was poison.

Religion Scandal

Public Apology

Another correspondent has pointed out to me that the religious orders actually agreed to pay 128 million euros towards the cost of the residential institutions redress board, and not 127 million, as I indicated. This is a million euros more than I suggested, out of the total cost of 1,200 million euros.

I apologise sincerely for this error and I’m happy to state publicly that the Roman Catholic church is currently paying 10.7% of the cost arising from children being raped by members of religious orders and not 10.6% as I disgracefully stated yesterday.

Politics Religion Scandal

Oh, the Sisters of Mercy, they are not departed or gone.

You might have seen this Bock rant a little while back concerning the deal made between our government and the RC religious orders whereby we, the taxpayers pay all but 127 million euros of compensation claims. This might seem like a lot of money for the religious orders to pay, until you realise that the bill is currently 1,200,000,000 euros. One thousand two hundred million euros, and rising.

This agreement was made in the dying days of the last government by that egregious little weasel, Michael Woods, a man widely believed to be a member of Opus Dei.

You might like to have a bit more detail on the negotiations that led to this incredible deal. At the time, Michael McDowell was Attorney General, and attended most of the discussions between Woods and the nuns. However, Woods excluded McDowell and his officials from the two crucial meetings where he agreed to use our money to underwrite most of the religious orders’ liabilities.

Woods is quoted as saying at the time, “The legal people simply couldn’t have attended – it was a no-go area for them – they had fallen out with the religious.”

Now what exactly does that mean? It appears to mean that the nuns, who were representing the abusers and rapists, could dictate to an elected minister of this land which people were allowed to attend discussions on compensating their victims. It appears that they (Sister O’Donoghue et al) were further allowed to veto the attendance of the highest law officer in this land at a meeting where it was decided how much State money would be given to the abusers to get them out of trouble.

Woods went on to say, “My religion was an asset.”

Why? It wasn’t a religious issue. It was about how much money the State would take from rapists and give to their victims. It wasn’t – or at least, shouldn’t – have been a matter of negotiation, but that was what Woods and his fellow ministers allowed it to become, with the nuns laying down the rules on behalf of the child-rapists.

Afterwards, Woods commended the “helpfulness and generosity” of the Church during the negotiations. The Church had not only given guidance, he said, but also property. He was nearly being truthful here. What actually happened was this: the day before the crucial meeting from which the Attorney General was excluded, the Department of Education wrote to the Orders, agreeing that land which had been handed over to the State in the past by the Orders would count as part of the agreed payment. This was something the State’s team had resisted right up to that moment. A miracle!

Question for you. Why was a Minister of our government meeting these people at all? Why weren’t they simply informed by a letter from a civil servant how much the State was going to take from them? You raped kids and now we’re taking all your money, Fuck off. Yours sincerely.

All of this was negotiated by the formidable Sister Helena, who’s in the news again for another deeply Christian act.

Janette Byrne is a 39-year-old Dublin woman who was treated for cancer at the Mater hospital. It was only after securing a High Court order that Janette Byrne was able to force the Mater hospital to provide the necessary bed for her chemotherapy. She subsequently wrote a book called “If It Were Just Cancer”, which detailed the dirty and chaotic conditions she experienced in the hospital. You’d imagine the nuns would be glad for the feedback, wouldn’t you?

Ah, no. This is Helena we’re talking about here. Instead, the good Christian nuns hired a law firm to threaten the publishers unless they remove certain passages which “caused great distress.” Who exactly felt distressed we don’t know: after all, the Irish Nurses’ Organisation agrees with Janette’s point of view. Presumably it was Helena who felt great distress at being disagreed with. As any power freak will tell you, it is not pleasant to have the little people, or even an Attorney General, disagree with one.

Last year, Helena and her nun-buddies were in the news again, when they objected to trials of a drug for lung cancer patients. Why? Because the manufacturer advises people not to become pregnant while taking the life-saving drug. That was too much for Helena. Compassion for dying patients is one thing, but contraception? Never!!

You can’t have people taking contraceptive thingies. No. We won’t stand for it!

And so they blocked the trials.

Bizarrely, the nuns don’t own the hospital any more: they sold it to the State in 2001 for the equivalent of 22 million euros, but they made an agreement that the Catholic ethos would still prevail in the hospital. They have several nuns on the Board of the hospital, including a “director of mission effectiveness”. Think about that, now. The State gave them a big pile of money when it could easily have built a new hospital with no nuns involved. And after handing them the cash, it gave them back control of the place anyway! (This, incidentally, was the same year Michael Woods agreed the child-rapist support deal with Helena).

Where are we now? Well, Helena’s golden touch hasn’t deserted her yet.

A consortium of public-spirited businessmen offered to acquire the land, design and build a new national children’s hospital on the N7 near Newlands Cross in Dublin, at no profit to themselves. For anybody who doesn’t know the area, this is an easily accessible location near the Red Cow roundabout with easy access from the North via the M50 and the South via the N7. There are several hotels nearby.

What did the government do? It chose instead to locate the national children’s hospital on the existing Mater site, which is located in North inner-city Dublin, squeezed between Dorset Street, Eccles Street and the North Circular Road, with no room for expansion, constant traffic gridlock and no public transport, no-place for parents to park and no-place for them to stay overnight to be near their sick child. If you want to get your child quickly to the Mater at rush-hour, well, tough shit! You can’t. Because in this supposedly incredibly rich nation, we have no public transport system.

We also appear to have no government except Helena and her buddies. I wonder what they have on Bertie? Didn’t he once work in the Mater as a book-keeper?


Also on Bock

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension


Elsewhere: Conan Drumm

Politics Religion Scandal

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension

This article was first published in November 2006



Isn’t there some big Catholic thing coming up soon, in early December? The Immaculate Assumption, or the Holy Dispersal. Something of that sort, anyway. The Blessed Emulsification, maybe.

In the past, it was the day when all the farmers used to head for their nearest urban centre to get completely blunted in the pub while the missus noodled around the shops buying cocaine and vibrators, but those days are long gone. Now, in the new Celtic Aardvark Ireland, rural people no longer need to visit their local town in huge hordes on the feast of the Unmissable Contraction. Certainly not. These days, rural people are all over in Dubai with their accountants in early December, trying to figure out how much their patch of mud is worth now. Bastards.

It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always money money money. Oh no.

Actually, that’s not true. It was always about money. Let me give you a case in point.

Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General issued a report about the payments by the Residential Institutions Redress Board to victims of clerical abuse. The latest figure is 1.2 billion euros. Let me repeat that. One thousand two hundred million euros.

Now, what do you think this money is for? Is it because the government think these people deserve a holiday and could do with a few bob to help them go to Malaga?


Is it because the people who claimed are so damn nice you couldn’t refuse them?

No, it isn’t.

Well, maybe it’s because the Catholic Church has decided to share some of its vast wealth with poor people, in line with the teaching of Jesus?

Ah come on now! You have to be joking surely? The Catholic Church follow Jesus’s teaching?

No. It’s none of the above. The people have been awarded the money to partially make up for the fact that they were physically, sexually and psychologically abused by priests, nuns and monks. Read that again carefully. Abused by priests by priests, nuns and monks. Not, you will notice, by postmen, police, nurses, dog wardens or any other employee of the State. Children were raped, beaten and psychologically abused by nuns, priests and monks.

You’d imagine therefore that they would be compensated by the organisation their abusers belonged to, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. So how much did the Catholic church pay towards the one thousand two hundred million euros so far paid out to victims?

Most of it, I hear you saying.


Half of it, you suggest.


A quarter, you shout, in despair.

I stand up and wave my arms at you in dismissal. No, no and no again.

The Catholic church paid a tenth of the cost. The Catholic church paid 127 million euros and no matter how high the awards go, that is all the Catholic church will ever pay.


You heard me right. Even though the children were raped, beaten and psychologically abused by nuns, priests and monks, the Catholic church will never pay more than 127 million euros.

So what uncritical benefactor has ridden to the assistance of the Catholic church? What kind and decent person has decided to rescue the church from the penury it brought upon itself by its abuse of children? Who could possibly be so generous? Well, look no further. Look in the mirror, for this wonderful benefactor is you. Your taxes are paying one thousand two hundred million euros to make up the shortfall, and this is the result of an agreement signed by a government minister.

Michael Woods, PhD, agreed this deal with the Catholic church, including Sister Helena O’Donoghue of the Sisters of Mercy, of whom more anon. Dr Woods, you might remember, was once Minister for Health, and did nothing at the time to dispel the belief that he was a medical practitioner when in fact he had a doctorate arising out of some research on tomatoes. Dr Woods is also a well-known member of Opus Dei. Dr Michael Woods concluded a deal whereby your money and mine was used to underwrite the Catholic church without limit. Can you imagine that? These guys paid in 127 million and that was an end of their obligations, even though they were the ones who had committed the abuse. Even though the claims are currently at one thousand two hundred million and rising, the church will never have to pay an extra penny. Our money will be used to pay the rest, no matter how much the bill comes to.

Now, who is Sr Helena O’Donoghue? Sr O’Donoghue is a member of the community that controls the Mater Hospital in Dublin. The Mater Hospital has recently been designated the location for the National Children’s Hospital, even though it is completely inaccessible for children coming from outside Dublin, and for their parents. The location was chosen even though a suitable site was offered at no cost to the government on the periphery of Dublin. (A site which was easily accessible from the N7).

The Mater is also the hospital whose ethics committee attempted to prevent cancer patients from using contraception. A truly Christian institution.


The Sisters of Mercy . . .

Public Apology

Criminal Responsibilty


gardai Politics Scandal

Limerick builder hits the big time

Isn’t it great to see a Limerick contractor do well? Roadbridge, owned by Pat Mulcair, is the main contractor in the Corrib gas pipeline. This project, you might remember, involves a deal made by the convicted crook Ray Burke, who was Minister for Energy at the time.

After hard negotiations, Ray Burke signed a deal with Shell Oil as a result of which the Irish citizens received precisely NO royalties for the extraction of our gas from beneath our territorial waters.

There are currently 200 guards in Mayo forcing the builders past a local protest, in order to guarantee the Irish taxpayers their 0% stake in this project.

Ray Burke is a crook. Roadbridge are the builders. Shell take all the money.

Fuck you.

And me.

The end.

Politics Scandal World

The Ship From Hell

Kevin McHugh died yesterday, in the Mater private hospital.

Kevin McHugh owned and built the Atlantic Dawn , a 14,000-tonne super-trawler and factory ship which is capable of sucking every last living creature out of the seas it inhabits. African fishermen didn’t call it the Atlantic Dawn: they called it the Ship from Hell, or the Sea Monster. They called it these names because when Atlantic Dawn visited their coasts, they, and their families, starved and died. In fact, wherever the ship goes, poor people die.

Atlantic Dawn was built in 2000 and, even though Ireland was already exceeding its quota, the government gave McHugh a licence to fish in international waters. The European Commission took action against Ireland for exceeding its quota, but in 2001 did a deal with Bertie Ahern, increasing the tonnage of the Irish fishing fleet by 14,055 tonnes. The fact that McHugh was a well-known supporter of Fianna Fail, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with this intervention and it is pure coincidence that the Atlantic Dawn’s tonnage also happens to be precisely 14,055 tonnes.

Even this vast tonnage only allowed the Ship from Hell to fish EU waters for a few months of the year and McHugh needed new feeding grounds for his monster. He fastened on Mauritania and negotiated a private deal with Ould Sid Taya, the dictatorial Mauritanian president who was deposed last year in a coup. The deal has been described as “very unorthodox.” Atlantic Dawn’s representative in Mauritania was a relative of the president.

The Mauritanian authorities noticed that the death ship was pumping out all the unwanted species of fish into the sea, dead: the same fish that the coastal fishermen rely on to feed their families. When the authorities took the Atlantic Dawn to task about this, McHugh had a very simple answer. From then on, the ship didn’t pump out dead fish. It shredded them and pumped out pulp. Fuck off Mauritania!

This sort of practice made Kevin McHugh a very rich man indeed.

In September last year, after the coup, the Ship from Hell was expelled from Mauritanian waters and the current Mauritanian administration insists on keeping this ship out of any future fishing agreements.

It appears that Atlantic Dawn is now killing poor fishermen and their families off the coast of Peru. Obviously, the late Kevin McHugh has no further interest in the monster he created, but his sons continue to operate the business. However, they clearly have no idea of the hardship the ship has caused to coastal communities, not unlike the Irish one their father came from in Achill, and when they realise the extent of the hardship caused, they will be appalled. In all likelihood, they’ll probably have the ship recalled and sell it for scrap rather than cause further suffering to poor people across the world. I’m certain of it.

Meanwhile, one would hope Kevin McHugh rests in peace, along with the people his ship helped to kill.

Crime Politics popular culture

Criminal responsibility

They changed the system for kids committing crime.

It used to be that kids of seven years could be held responsible for crimes, which was plainly nonsense. That law was passed in an era when nobody cared about children. It was an era when children were sent up chimneys to clean them, or out into fields to work as a man would, and when children of the poorer classes never passed beyond primary school because they had to go out and work in support of the family. It was an appalling state of affairs that children could be treated with such brutality, and that they ended up in institutions whose list carries terrifying echoes of other, and far more sinister camps. Daingean. Letterfrack. Glin. Artane.

Actually, as I’m on the subject, let me just provide you with a list of these fine establishments.Here it is.

Our Lady of Succour, Newtownforbes
St.Patrick’s Industrial School, Kilkenny
St.Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, Dublin
St.Conleth’s reformatory School, Daingean
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Letterfrack
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Kilkenny
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Whitehall, Dublin
Artane Industrial School, Dublin,
St. Michael’s Industrial School for Girls, Wexford
St. Michael’s Industrial School for Junior boys, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
St. Vincent’s (House of Charity) Industrial School for Junior Boys, Drogheda, Co. Louth
St. Vincent’s Industrial School for Girls, Limerick
St. Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin 8
St. Ann’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Renmore, Lenaboy, Co. Galway
St. Anne’s Industrial School for Girls, Booterstown, Co. Dublin
St. Anne’s Reformatory School for Girls, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin
St. Augustine’s Industrial School for Girls, Templemore, Co. Tipperary
St. Bernard’s Industrial School for Girls, Fethard, Dundrum, Co. Tipperary
St. Bridgid’s Industrial School for Girls, Loughrea, Co. Galway
St. Colman’s Industrial School for Girls, Cobh/Rushbrook, Co. Cork
St. Columba’s Industrial School for Girls, Westport, Co. Mayo
St. Conleth’s Reformatory School for Boys, Daingean, Co. Offaly
St. Dominick’s Industrial School for Girls, Waterford
St. Finbarr’s Industrial School for Girls, Sundays Well, Marymount, Cork
St. Francis Xavier’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon
St. Francis’s Industrial School for Girls, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
St. George’s Industrial School for Girls, Limerick
St. John’s Industrial School for Girls, Birr, Co. Offaly
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, Passage West, Co. Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, Tralee, Co. Kerry
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Clifden, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Liosomoine, Killarney, Co. Kerry
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Cavan
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Dundalk, Co. Louth
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Kilkenny
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Mallow, Co. Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Summerhill, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Whitehall, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Glin, Co. Limerick
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Greenmount, Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Salthill, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’ss Reformatory School for Girls, Limerick
St. Kyran’s Industrial School for Junior Boys, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow
St. Laurence’s Industrial School for Girls, Sligo
St. Laurence’s Industrial School, Finglas, Dublin 11
St. Martha’s Industrial School for Girls, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
St. Mary’s Industrial School, Lakelands, Sandymount, Dublin 4

Do you notice anything about this list? Of course you do. You notice all the saints, and perhaps, like me, you find it remarkable that all these saints should be associated with places where so many of our children were raped by perverts from religious orders.

Now, there’s no doubt about the amount of violence and stupidity at large today among total skobes. But it occurs to me, and perhaps to you, that at least some of this aggression derives from the industrial schools. Saint this that and the other, where the grandparents of the current crop of skobes were locked up, put to slavery and buggered by the fine Roman Catholic clergy of the day.

However, this doesn’t mean that I’ve gone soft or anything like that. The new plan is nonsense. If a kid commits a crime, the cops are supposed to take him to his parents and alert who?

The Health Board. That’s who.

The Health Board.

Listen, the health board can’t even run a health service properly. How are they going to stop children committing crime? I can see the headlines now: Health Board to Tackle Shoplifting!

For fuck’s sake. Make chav parents take responsibility for their kids, just like the rest of us do. How’s that for a radical idea?

Favourites Politics Scandal Technology

e-voting machines

Dick Roche came out a few days ago and stated that he was going to start a campaign to promote public confidence in the electronic voting machines that Cullen bought a couple of years ago.

Think about that now. This is a good measure of our Government’s complete failure to comprehend what went wrong. Roche didn’t say that he was going to address the fundamental flaw in the system, a flaw that could completely undermine democracy in this country. No. Roche isn’t worried about that. He’s not going to concentrate on fixing the problem.

Instead, he’s going to put ads on the television telling us everything is ok. Lots of them. And loads of publicity to bolster public confidence. And when he’s happy that everyone believes the machines work, in they come.

Imagine if any other organisation worked that way. Microsoft, for example.

Gee, Bill, I don’t know if we should bother getting Windows 3-Million to actually work. Why don’t we just ask people to believe in it? We”ll run an ad campaign.

Uh. Right.

Crime Favourites Religion Scandal World

Mother Teresa, the crook

Charles Keating was sentenced to ten years in prison for perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in American history. The Savings and Loans scandal has gone down in history as one of the filthiest scams ever conducted, involving the defrauding of 17,000 people of their life savings. Many of these people were elderly, and many lost everything they owned.

Charles Keating donated 1.25 million of these stolen dollars to Mother Teresa, and also gave her the use of his private jet. At his trial the good nun sent a letter to the trial judge, Lance Ito (a man you might remember from the OJ Simpson case).

This is what Mother Teresa said on behalf of Charles Keating:

Dear Honorable Lance Ito,

We do not mix up in Business or Politicts or courts. Our work, as Missionaries of Charity is to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.

I do not know anything about Mr. Charles Keating’s work or his business or the matters you are dealing with.

I only know that he has alway been kind and generous to God’s poor, and always ready to help whenever there was a need. It is for this reason that I do not want to forget him now while he and his family are suffering. Jesus has told us “Whatever you do to the least of my brethern … YOU DID IT TO ME. Mr. Keating has done each to help the poor, which is why I am writing to you on his behalf.

Whenever someone asks me to speak to a judge, I always tell them the same thing. I ask them to pray, to look into thier heart, and to do what Jesus would do in that circumstance. And this is what I am asking of you, your Honor.

My gratitude to you is my prayer for you, and your work, your family and the people with whom you are working.

God bless you

M. Teresa

Thinking that Mother Teresa didn’t understand how Keating had robbed countless old and vulnerable people to obtain this money, the deputy District Attorney in the case, Paul Turley wrote a personal letter, as follows:

Dear Mother Teresa

I am a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and one of the persons who worked on the prosecution of your benefactor, Charles H. Keating, Jr. I read your letter to Judge Ito, written on behalf of Mr. Keating, which includes your admission that you know nothing about Mr. Keating’s business or the criminal charges presented to Judge Ito. I am writing to you to provide a brief explanation of the crimes of which Mr. Keating has been convicted, to give you an understanding of the source of the money that Mr. Keating gave to you, and to suggest that you perform the moral and ethical act of returning the money to its rightful owners.

Mr. Keating was convicted of defrauding 17 individuals of more than $900,000. These 17 persons were representative of 17,000 individuals from whom Mr. Keating stole $252,000,000. Mr. Keating’s specific acts of fraud were that he was the source of a series of fraudulent representations made to persons who bought bonds from his company and he also was the repository of crucial information which he chose to withhold from bond purchasers, thereby luring his victims into believing they were making a safe, low-risk investment. In truth and in fact, their money was being used to fund Mr. Keating’s exorbitant and extravagant lifestyle.

The victims of Mr. Keating’s fraud come from a wide spectrum of society. Some were wealthy and well-educated. Most were people of modest means and unfamiliar with high finance. One was, indeed, a poor carpenter who did not speak English and had his life savings stolen by Mr. Keating’s fraud.

The biblical slogan of your organization is ‘As long as you did it to one of these My least brethren. You did it to Me’. The ‘least’ of the brethren are among those whom Mr. Keating fleeced without flinching. As you well know, divine forgiveness is available to all, but forgiveness must be preceded by admission of sin. Not only has Mr. Keating failed to admit his sins and his crimes, he persists in self-righteously blaming others for his own misdeeds. Your experience is, admirably, with the poor. My experience has been with the ‘con’ man and the perpetrator of the fraud. It is not uncommon for ‘con’ men to be generous with family, friends and charities.

Perhaps they believe that their generosity will purchase love, respect or forgiveness. However, the time when the purchase of ‘indulgences’ was an acceptable method of seeking forgiveness died with the Reformation. No church, no charity, no organization should allow itself to be used as a salve for the conscience of the criminal. We all are grateful that forgiveness is available but we all, also, must perform our duty. That includes the Judge and the Jury. I remind myself of the biblical admonition of the Prophet Micah: ‘O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you. To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.’

We are urged to love mercy but we must do justice.

You urge Judge Ito to look into his heart — as he sentences Charles Keating — and do what Jesus would do. I submit the same challenge to you. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he were given the fruits of a crime; what Jesus would do if he were in possession of money that had been stolen; what Jesus would do if he were being exploited by a thief to ease his conscience?

I submit that Jesus would promptly and unhesitatingly return the stolen property to its rightful owners. You should do the same. You have been given money by Mr. Keating that he has been convicted of stealing by fraud. Do not permit him the ‘indulgence’ he desires Do not keep the money. Return it to those who worked for it and earned it!

If you contact me I will put you in direct contact with the rightful owners of the property now in your possession.


Paul W. Turley

There was no reply and the money wasn’t returned.

So much for living saints.

Crime Politics Scandal

Ryanair / Aer Lingus

It makes no sense to mention Michael O’Leary and morality in the same breath. It’s insane. It’s a non-sequitur. Michael O’Leary is what he is, and it makes no more sense to condemn him for what he does than it would to condemn a crocodile for eating wildebeest, or a shark for swallowing Australians. He’s an old-fashioned predator and in the interests of preserving biodiversity, we should try to ensure that his kind don’t die out.

At the same time, though, you wouldn’t necessarily put a crocodile in charge of your wildebeest management programme, or appoint a shark to the board of the Australian Swimming Commission.

Our government – I’ve said it before – are the world’s biggest gobshites. These are the gobshites who gave away Eircom, ripping off thousands of small investors in the process, to the ultimate enrichment of the appalling Sir Anthony O’Reilly, the well-known bean magnate.

These are also the gobshites who gave – GAVE!!! – our natural gas to Shell, at no cost whatever. None. Not a penny. No royalties. Not a bob. And the order was signed by that renowned example of probity, and honesty, Ray Burke. This is worth repeating. Our government signed a deal with Shell to extract natural gas from our territorial waters and take it away without paying us a penny. Furthermore, Shell are entitled to charge us the full market price for our own gas. (This week, by the way, the price of gas is going up by 34%). As a matter of interest, the Norwegian government own a share in the consortium that’s extracting the gas from Irish territorial waters, and all of their profits are going (by Norwegian law) to the Norwegian citizens. Fair play to the Norwegian government for being smart, but what goes to Irish citizens? Would you like to know? I’ll tell you, then : fuck-all. Our government decided that Ireland should get not a single penny from the extraction of our gas. Isn’t that great? Thanks to that wonderful human being, Ray Burke. And thanks to that decision by Burke, a convicted crook, corrupt politician, and recipient of bribes, there are today 180 gardai on overtime paid for by you and me, forcing their way past the local people in Rossport so that Shell can exploit the gas field and take the gas free from us without paying a single cent in royalties. What a wonderful little country.

I suppose we should be grateful. At least Shell haven’t yet had any of the local people murdered for opposing them, the way they did in Nigeria. Does anyone remember Ken Saro-Wiwe?

Not for a minute do I think our government is in any way supportive of Shell’s ideology. In fact, I don’t think our government would possibly be able to comprehend the concept of ideology. This is a government without principles, either good or bad. This, after all, is a government headed by somebody who talks about “relevations” and “quid per quo”. Do I think they’re motivated by sinister intent? Dear God, no. They’re just gobshites.

Now they’ve just sold Aer Lingus at a price that allows O’Leary to kill off all competition.

What a crowd of gobshites!