Gardai Clamp Down on Illegal Brothels

According to the local rag, Gardai have clamped down on illegal brothels (as opposed to the legal ones, one can only presume).

By a curious coincidence, the reporter, Mike Dwane, was the man who recorded Willie O Dea making injudicious comments about politicians running brothels, a story which exploded into national significance and marked the end of Willie’s meteoric rise without trace.  After all sorts of embarrassing retractions and apologies to the High Court for submitting untrue affidavits, Willie went from his position as Minister For Sending Helicopters  to the All-Blacks Game, and resumed  his customary position as ex-Minister for Telling You He’ll Get The Road Fixed Even Though He Knows Damn Well He Can’t.

History doesn’t record if Dwane was appointed official brothel correspondent as a result of the scandal, but according to the Leader, Willie recently “lashed” Facebook for its treatment of poor JP McManus, the world’s most oppressed billionaire.

Here’s Mike Dwane anyway, reporting on raids by our intrepid guardians of public morals who questioned two Polish, two Czech and two Romanian women.  I don’t know what sort of questions they asked, but I hope they kept it clean.

According to Gardai, the women were not suspected of street-walking, but of advertising their favours on the internet.  The interesting line for me occurs at the end of the report : There was no early indication that the women had been trafficked or coerced into prostitution.

I don’t find this surprising.  A solicitor friend was telling me recently about a foreign student he represented.  The lady had decided to earn a few extra euros over the summer by a little free-market enterprise.  All sides agreed there was no pimp involved, no coercion and no trafficking.  The lady was simply trying to make some money  and was genuinely puzzled to discover that in Ireland, one can’t legally provide sexual favours for material gain.

Now, to my mind, this rules out all sorts of carry-on, like marrying rich old guys.  Or coming across after a slap-up feed in a classy nosh-joint.  Or in return for a fancy bracelet.  Or to get a promotion.  Or to win a part in a movie.

To put it another way, in the absence of coercion, where’s the line between being a prostitute and merely a gold-digger?

And will the Gardai be raiding every wedding between a healthy young lady and a doddery old millionaire?

I think we should be told.



Previously on Bock : Should prostitution be legalised?


Willie O’Dea and the Secret DPP Briefing

If Willie O Dea’s recent remarks are to be taken at face value, it seems he has managed to secure a private line of information from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

You might recall that Willie was forced to resign his ministry when it emerged that he had lodged an affidavit with the High Court which contained untrue evidence.

The national press, including the Irish Times, seem to have accepted the spin that Willie put on the matter and are reporting that he withdrew his evidence in a libel case.

The affidavit had nothing to do with the libel case.

It was sworn in an action taken by Maurice Quinlivan under an electoral act — a case which Willie won because the court relied on the sworn evidence in his affidavit. Contrary to what Willie later said, the statement was never withdrawn because an affidavit, once lodged with the court, remains as evidence, even if the information it contains is factually untrue.

To repeat: Willie O Dea did not withdraw or amend this affidavit  because he didn’t have the power to do so.

Following publication of the details, there was speculation that Willie might be prosecuted, because swearing a false statement is normally considered perjury.  However, the DPP this week decided not to proceed against him.

When making a public statement on the matter, Willie made an extraordinary claim thatthe DPP had decided there was no case to answer.

I have no idea how he has this information, since the DPP’s office never comments on the reasons for not bringing a prosecution.  It never says that a person has no case to answer.

The only way Willie could know that the DPP thinks he has no case to answer is if somebody in the DPP’s office told him so.

That would be gross political interference in the workings of the DPP’s office and, if true, warrants an investigation to discover what officials, and at what level, are communicating privately with politicians.

If the Gardaí told him the DPP believes he has no case to answer, then they have exceeded their authority, and have extended a courtesy to Willie that you or I would not receive.

On the other hand, it might simply be waffle from Willie, which would be nothing new.


Trevor Sargent Resigns Following Political Action by Gardai

Is this the start of the coup?  It seems that elements within our police force have colluded with a political party to force the resignation of a government minister.

Trevor Sargent has resigned after a letter he wrote in June 2008 to a policeman became public.

The letter concerned a man who complained to a parent about vandalism, and was  headbutted and hospitalised for his trouble.

Now, if I had been headbutted by the scumbag father of a scumbag vandal, I might well find myself engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour too, and if I was charged by the local cops, as a result of trying to prevent vandalism in my neighbourhood, I think I’d be outraged.

I’d expect my elected representatives to be just as outraged, and that’s exactly how Sargent felt about it.

Sargent wrote to a policeman involved, complaining that this man had been charged when all he was trying to do was prevent vandalism in his area, but the police went ahead with the prosecution anyway and the man received a fine.

That was two years ago.

Recently, as everyone knows now, the Green Party insisted on Willie O’Dea’s removal from office because he swore a false statement to the High Court.

The minister for justice, Dermot Ahern, was particularly vocal in defending O’Dea’s abuse of the court.

Now, within a few days, the letter from Sargent to the police has been passed to a newspaper and Sargent has resigned in an apparent act of political revenge by Fianna Fáil.

It isn’t immediately apparent that what Sargent did was illegal.

According to the Prosecution of Offences Act, 1974, it is legal for a person to communicate with a Garda  as  a social worker. Since the Act does not require such a person to be formally employed as a social worker, it could reasonably be argued that Trevor Sargent was acting as a social worker and was therefore within his rights in writing to the police.

In my opinion, the Green Party panicked and allowed Sargent to resign prematurely, but now that he’s gone, here are a few questions.

  • Did a Garda copy the lettter from the police file ?
  • When was the letter copied – was it immediately on receipt,  or was it in the last week?
  • Who was the copy given to — was it a reporter or somebody else?
  • Who informed the newspaper about the existence of the letter?
  • Who passed the letter to the reporter was it a Garda or somebody else?

While its by no means obvious that Trevor Sargent did anything illegal in  writing to the policeman, I think it’s certainly a crime to copy a confidential police file and pass the details to a third party.

Will  some policeman be charged with a crime?

Will some Fianna Fáil politician be charged with a crime?

Will  the Minister for Justice be asked in the Dáil to explain how a Garda file was passed to the newspapers only days after he had personally defended the actions of Willie O’Dea in misleading the courts?

Given the contempt for the High Court displayed recently by the minister for justice, the defence minister and the prime minister, this is a very dangerous development for our fragile democracy.


The Prosecution of Offences Act 1974, Section 6, states as follows:-

6.—(1) ( a ) Subject to the provisions of this section it shall not be lawful to communicate with the Attorney General or an officer of the Attorney General, the Director or an officer of the Director the Acting Director, a member of the Garda Síochána or a solicitor who acts on behalf of the Attorney General in his official capacity for the Director in his official capacity, for the purpose of influencing making of a decision to withdraw or not to initiate criminal proceedings or any particular charge in criminal proceedings.

( b ) If a person referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection becomes of opinion that a communication is in breach of that paragraph, it shall be the duty of the person not to entertain the communication further.

(2) ( a ) This section does not apply to—

(i) communications made by a person who is a defendant or a complainant in criminal proceedings or believes that he is likely to be a defendant in criminal proceedings, or

(ii) communications made by a person involved in the matter either personally or as legal or medical adviser to a person involved in the matter or as a social worker or a member of the family of a person involved in the matter.

( b ) In this subsection “member of the family” means wife, husband, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, a person who is the subject of, or in whose favour there is made, an adoption order under the Adoption, Act 1952 and 1964.

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Willie O’ Dea Resigns

Minister for Justice Mr. Willie O’ Dea announced his resignation this evening.

“It was all a terrible Moustache” he said…



Willie O’Dea did not provide the court with inaccurate evidence.  He provided the court with untrue evidence, and there is a huge difference between the two.

Inaccurate evidence can be corrected but untrue evidence can only be withdrawn, just as Willie O’Dea’s had to be when it was shown to be false.

Inaccurate evidence might suggest that a man was driving at 40 mph when in fact he was driving at 50 mph.  This can be corrected.

Untrue evidence might suggest that a man never accused another of running a brothel when in fact he did make such an accusation.  This evidence can only be withdrawn if it turns out to be false, as Willie O’Dea’s evidence was.

Here is what Willie O’Dea told the Dáil, our national parliament.

When I later saw a transcript of the interview I saw that I had, contrary to my recollection, gone further in what I had said and what had been quoted in the newspaper.

I took the initiative. I went to my solicitor and immediately corrected my affidavit.

This statement by Willie O’Dea is not in accordance with the facts.  It is not what happened.

Willie O’Dea did not correct his affidavit, because it is not legally possible to do so.

He took back what he had said, in the hope that he would escape the consequences of swearing something that was untrue.

An affidavit is a categorical statement of fact, sworn under oath, and Willie O’Dea, who claims to be a trained lawyer, knows this perfectly well.

Nevertheless, he attempted to persuade the Dáil otherwise.

What has happened in this instance was that the evidence I gave to the court was mistaken. Evidence and testimony is regularly corrected in courts without allegations and assertions of lying and perjury being levelled.

This is wrong.

Sworn evidence to the court is not corrected.  If evidence is found to be misleading or inaccurate, the court decides if the person giving the evidence has deliberately lied.  This is how Jeffrey Archer went to jail.

In this case, the court relied on the sworn evidence supplied by Willie O’Dea and ruled against his opponent.  It later turned out that O’Dea’s evidence was not simply inaccurate.  It was untrue.

Consequently, Willie O’Dea has misled the national parliament, and by extension, the voting public.


Willie O’Dea to Replace Brian Lenihan as Finance Minister

The rumours going around are that Willie O’Dea will replace Brian Lenihan as finance minister if Lenihan has to step down due to ill-health.

I was a bit taken aback to hear these rumours.  It would seem surprising if a minister who inhabited the lowest orbit of respect in cabinet — defence — should suddenly be projected into one of the most influential roles.

And yet.  And yet.  The rumours and the whispers persist.

I wondered how Willie might be qualified to fill this role, and so I had a look at his web site, where I discovered that he was formerly a Barrister and Accountant, to quote his site exactly.

I then read that he was educated at UCD and Kings Inns and the Institute of Certified Accountants (BCL, LLM, BL, Certified Accountant).

And so, not unnaturally, I looked up the Institute of Certified Acountants but I couldn’t find any organisation of precisely that name.

What I did find, on an admittedly rushed Google search, was a page relating to The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, but absolutely nothing about anything called the Institute of Certified Acountants.

Not to worry.

I wrote to the Institute of Certified Public Acountants, asking the following question: Could you please advise what qualification Minister Willie O’Dea holds from CPA and when it was awarded?

An answer came back: We do not have a member by that name on our database.


There’s Willie’s website, which clearly states that he was educated, inter alia at the Institute of Certified Accountants. And yet I have been unable to locate this organisation.

At the same time, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland has no record of a Willie O’Dea on its database, but perhaps this is due to a variation in his name, and perhaps he might be registered as William O’Dea, or Billy or Bill, or Will or something like that.

It’s baffling.  Clearly we have to take the information on Willie’s site at face value and presume it to be accurate.  And yet, I haven’t been able to find an institute of the name referred to.

This is probably my mistake.  There probably is a well-known Institute of Certified Acountants and I simply can’t find it.

If you happen to know where and when exactly Minister O’Dea acquired his accountancy qualification, would you please set the record straight and pass on this information as soon as possible?

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Willie O’Dea and the False Statement

Let’s get the facts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

Does Willie think we’re all idiots?

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

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

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

This is almost right.

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

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

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

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

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

This is terrifying.

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

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

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