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"Dempsey flies to Derry and chauffeur drives 250km to meet him"

  • Thread starter MrFunkyBoogaloo
  • Start date

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MrFunkyBoogaloo

Dempsey flies to Derry while chauffeur drives 250km to meet him at airport - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

TRANSPORT Minister Noel Dempsey used the government jet and his ministerial car to attend a summer school.

He used the luxury Gulfstream IV jet, which costs €7,890 per hour and is capable of flying across the Atlantic, to fly from Dublin to Derry instead of the smaller, second government jet -- the Learjet -- as that was undergoing maintenance at the time.

And when he landed his garda driver was on hand to pick him up in his ministerial car after having driven 247km from Dublin.
And then he was chauffeured another 94km to the MacGill Summer School. The guy then had to drive Minister Dempsey the other 94km back to Derry so he could take a flight to London and then drive all the way home again. Thank you Taxpayer and Thank you Minister for Transport for...well.. transport i guess.

"Let them have cake!"
 

danger here

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Unbelievable.well...actually it's not.
 

DCon

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And the important speech he had to make?

It’s even better if you’re in opposition, then you can ignore the wider common good and the public interest and still get elected.

You can follow the opinion polls rather than show any kind of leadership.

You can become Mr. Angry, jump on the latest bandwagon and maybe, just maybe, get those few extra votes in rural Ireland by sacrificing the odd stag.

If you are in opposition and dying to get into Government – all you have to do is say

- Everything the Government is doing is wrong.

- The Government is not spending enough.

- The Government is spending too much (depending on your audience and what time of the day it is).

- We shouldn’t have paid our debts but we should have gone to those same debtors and asked them for another loan of €2bn to create jobs.

- We need the banks to start lending but we should have let the banking system collapse.

- We should sack everyone who was in the banks over the last twenty years, get rid of them all. At the same time, we acknowledge the need for more experience in the system to ensure we can get lending going for our struggling businesses.


None of that is good, and it can’t be fixed by changing the electoral system. Because it’s a cultural issue.
Being answerable is one thing. Being totally enslaved to a local electorate is something very different – and very unhealthy for a system supposed to serve the common good and the national interest.

So let’s look wider than the local. Let’s look to what happened when all the new states emerged from the old communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Understandably, they wanted to install the best systems to represent the rights of the citizen.

It’s significant that we didn’t see them arriving in Ireland, at that time, to study and copy the Irish electoral and parliamentary model.

One did and quickly reversed their decision.

They wanted new systems that worked really well, and didn’t think of our system as providing what they needed. They didn’t see Ireland as a shining international example of excellence.

And they were right.
We should also look at combining proportional representation with the list system as used in a number of European countries. Judicious use of the list system would be more representative and would allow the electorate to balance the skill sets of representatives. New Zealand, Wales and Scotland have all recently adopted the German system, where nearly half of the parliamentarians are from lists. We should join them.

Objectors say the list system gives Party HQ rather than the local party members a powerful say in candidate selection.

Does anyone seriously think that candidates can get through selection processes for Dail elections if the party hierarchy don’t want them to?

They say that it means that the “list deputies” will be less dependent on the local electorate and on the local party organisation for re-election and therefore will act more independently of the electorate.

Yeah.

True.

Good.

Because it’s so important, reform of the Electoral system should not be left to the political system. We need to urgently set up the Electoral Commission committed to in the Programme for Government to give them a task to present an objective assessment of our current system and alternatives to that system. We need real public discussion and debate moderated by that independent body and we need a proposal to put to the people on reformed Electoral system as a matter of urgency.

In that process, we should seek to return Dail Eireann to a central place in public thinking. It should be the battleground for ideas, the location for intellectual debate, the site where the brightest and best work in concert to achieve optimal results over the long term, not cheap point-scoring in the short term.

As long as we refuse to even contemplate, let alone effect, change to make our work more relevant to the day-to-day lives of our citizens to do the job we are really elected to do we are doomed to see a continued decline in peoples engagement with politics, democracy and our democratic system.

Speech by Minister Dempsey at the MacGill Summer School | national-speech
 

Outlander

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The Irish version of the list system will see party hacks, and those who have been clinging for dear life to marginal seats, a free ticket for the gravy train.
 

Tomas Mor

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His speech was very poor. But as regards jet, he could be in Glenties in about 2 hours from his home in Meath, with Garda driver and state merc which does not have to obey speed limits. Given that he he had to be collected at and driven back to Derry, the time saved was not all that great. Whole thing is shameful.
 

DCon

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Aer Arann fly from Dublin to Donegal.

The flight leaves Dublin at 11:40 and lands in Donegal at 12:30.

Dempsey could have taken this flight to give his important speech.

Ryanair fly from Belfast to Stansted, leaving at 20:10.

But, surely, if the meeting in London was so important, he could have flown commercially from Dublin and had someone else deliver the speech he made..

But Mr Dempsey said last night that he needed the government jet to attend an official meeting in London that had come up at relatively short notice. He said he could not give details of the meeting because it was sensitive government business, relating to aviation.

“The meeting was a very, very important one and in this instance it was the best, most effective and probably the only way I could do it,” he said.

After his speech, Mr Dempsey was driven back to Derry Airport by his Garda driver before taking the government jet to London at 8pm. Mr Dempsey said his office had investigated all the alternatives and knew they were under orders to get him to places in the most economical way.

Mr Dempsey also defended the use of his Garda driver, who had to make a round trip of around 680km.

“He is security for me. I was going into Northern Ireland, but even if I was going to Kerry somebody would have to be there for me,” he said.

Read more: Irish minister flew as his driver followed by road - Politics, News - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk
 

Tomas Mor

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also I bet there was another Garda driver to take him from his home/office to Baldonnel to get on gov jet.
 

just_society3

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Excessive use of taxpayers funds, but not fraud. He won't be resigning over this I reckon.
 

DCon

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Thats questionable. I bet we could find a cheaper way to do the trip and get him everywhere on time.
but not in the luxury he has come to expect.

Commercial airports and flights are for the little people.

The country is rolling in cash...
 

cry freedom

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Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose?
 

bobbysands81

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Folks... this happens CONSTANTLY.

A Minister will get a lift to the airport in their ministerial car and fly to their destination (though usually not on the Govt Jet) within Ireland. The same driver that drove them to the airport will then pick them up at the other end and continue their onward journey.
 

LDF

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Noel Dempsey has been a terrible Minister for Transport. He possesses none of the reforming zeal of Seamus Brennan - before Brennan was hung out to dry by Ahern and his cronies. The DAA were handed the operating license for T2 and Dublin Bus were illegally granted a license for a Swords route which seemed designed specifically to damage a private operator on the same route. In fact, Dempsey has been a terrible Minister full stop. Remember his "drop in the ocean" comment in response to revelations of huge government waste?

I don't understand why Dempsey is mentioned as a contender for the FF leadership. Even in a cabinet of dunces he comes bottom of the heap.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say that the London meeting was about attracting a international airline to T2 - I'm just speculating. That doesn't justify the waste of taxpayers money when there were other options available. Neither does it justify the level of secrecy invoked by Dempsey. However, he is a member of a Party which gutted the FOI act and seems increasingly bored by the democratic imperative to provide the public with information on how our country is being run. How often have this government used "legal advise" and "commercial sensitivity" as excuses for denying to the public information that we should know as a right?

I think there is more to this story to come.
 
Last edited:
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to be honest, it's hard to be shocked by any of this - but it still stinks.

let's remember that the politicians are on an election-footing as they know the whole deck of cards come crashing down as soon as the greens grow a pair of b@lls (any day now i hope).

we need total reform if this country is to move forward (or even standstill at this rate)...
 

DCon

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steelydan

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He's a schoolteacher who goes to Kildare Street every day thinking he's in charge of something. A pointless ligger like the rest of this regime.
 

cry freedom

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Philip Hammond is the current British minister for Transport. I have not been able to find his diary online, but I have emailed his department to ask if he met minister Dempsey on this trip.

If minister Dempsey did not meet his British opposite number, then who was he meeting? Why so urgent?

Another shopping trip ala JOD ?
I hope this turns out to be Dempsey's "Watergate"!
 
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