Mahon: One year on...

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Jun 9, 2007
Messages
18,709
A year ago today, the Mahon Tribunal report was published to much hand-wringing and promises of action. Since then, indeed within about three weeks, it has been completely forgotten - hardly a word in the media, no apparent follow-up civil or criminal investigations, no pressure from anyone in political or media circles to ensure a thorough examination of the possibility of prosecutions, etc. etc.

I wrote this this the day before publication:

How it will play out..

The report will come out. Hacks will furiously speed-read bits of it, without fully understanding the detail or the context, the initial narrative will be set by those bits of it (mostly involving Ahern, even though he is only a sideshow) and by hand-wringing over the costs and the length of time, etc. Most people won't bother finding out any more past this point, others will try but not understand what they are reading fully, some will get it.

The long-prepared spin campaign, fine-tuned over several months, will kick in - O'Callaghan and Ahern will release prepared statements decrying the method, talking about their 'right to a good name', and perhaps announce a judicial review or some other legal campaign - all will serve to give the impression that the report isn't the end of the story and will help smokescreen the actual findings against them. A number of commentators, particularly the child-like contrarians such as Browne and Harris, will latch on to this narrative and push it - as ever wishing to be seen to be different from everyone else. This will help obscure the detail some more.

Eventually people will get bored of it, except for some journalists - who will continue to pick over it. Some will concentrate in methodical detail on the real meat in the report - others (particularly the Sindo and the Business Post) will spend their time attacking the tribunal. The revelations about the relationship between Frank Dunlop and others will be largely overlooked, and the narrative of him having 'suddenly converted to the truth' in April 2000, though a complete falsehood, will continue.

FF will talk about 'lessons learned', will accept the findings but attack the inquiry anyway, portray it as being all about a different generation, perhaps announce their own internal inquiry, and hope that the whole thing blows over before they have to expel Ahern (though they might have no choice but to sacrifice him anyway). They will leave the dirty work of undermining the tribunal to others or to a designated spokesman.

People will forget it all and no-one will be prosecuted. Ireland will continue on its merry way with little or nothing changed.
http://www.politics.ie/forum/news-comments/184453-article-mahon-report-coming-out-thursday-morning-2.html#post5087675

Three weeks after the report was published I posted this:

Now, of course, 'investigations are ongoing', etc., but, as with the Moriarty Report a year ago, and Goodman etc in years gone by, it's a fair bet that the big business interests and politicians named in the report will not have to lose much sleep over the long arm of the law catching up with them. It is Ireland, after all.

I'm not even going to bother asking if there's any chance of the Gardaí/DPP following all the leads and interesting side-stories that Mahon couldn't follow to conclusion, I'm not stupid - why would the Gardaí have any interest in actually trying to find out what the most powerful people in the land were up to all those years?

So, I ask this question slightly disingenuously, but I'm open to persuasion:

Is the behaviour of politicians, the DPP, the media, and the Gardaí towards top-level corruption still much like that exhibited during the 1989 'investigation'? Someone stealing a pair of runners will get the book thrown at them, someone prostituting their office to allow others to make millions get overlooked entirely.

Does the Rule of Law actually exist in your country?
http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/186671-mahon-forgotten-about-already-does-rule-law-exist-your-country.html

The findings of the report were stunning. Not that most people would realise because, of course, the media concentrated all their attention on people like the clown Flynn and the sideshow that was the charlatan Ahern. There was a LOT more to it than that, taking in very big (and still riding high as a 'respected pillar of the community' in Cork) business interests, the incredible wrongdoing and subsequent false evidence of the country's biggest bank, AIB, the complicity in corruption of the Gardaí, other senior politicians and big business interests still covered for by the perjurer Dunlop etc. Issues such as what was turned up about the Neilstown Stadium project (and Ahern's role in it), Golden Island and the last-minute tax designation were hardly mentioned in the media coverage. Nor was the complicity of AIB in sanctioning large round figure VAT-free, invoice-free payments to a company that they themselves set up for Dunlop (they also set up the corruption 'war chest' account for him in Terenure, cashing cheques they knew he had falsely endorsed under a different name) which was used to hide the scale of payments going out (subsequently used for corruption) to Dunlop from the one man who objected to corruption and to Dunlop, Tom Gilmartin. There was hardly a word said about the extremely dubious last-minute (the night before the government fell in 1994) tax-designation of O'Callaghan's Golden Island shopping centre in Athlone, entirely separate from the ordinary designations already announced some weeks previously.

The Tribunal also even had some hard-hitting and thinly-veiled criticism of Mr. Justice Adrian Hardiman, whose own condemnations of the Tribunal and a particular witness before it were not in any way impeded by the fact that he had acted as Liam Lawlor's Senior Counsel before that very Tribunal (as which he described Gilmartin's allegation against Lawlor that he gatecrashed a London meeting and hustled himself in on the Bachelors' Walk project as 'crazy.. off the wall stuff... intrinsically unworthy of belief', despite it later being proved to be true - this didn't stop him attacking Gilmartin's credibility as a Supreme Court judge anyway). Does Ireland actually do the whole concept of 'absenting oneself due to being conflicted'? http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

None of this you would know from the (lack of) coverage. And where is the CAB investigation at? I know that there were CAB people looking at the report's findings, but a year on no sign of any appreciable intervention.

Anyway, to fill in the gaps for those of you who weren't born yet this time last year (about half of you, judging from varying post quality......), here is some of what you missed...

To learn a bit more about AIB's involvement in mistreatment, corruption and cover-up... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185092-mahons-amazing-findings-about-aib.html

For the Garda cover-up and complicity in the continuation of corruption.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/184618-joke-garda-investigation-1989-a.html

For an overview of the incredible injustice done to Tom Gilmartin several times over.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184613-country-owes-grovelling-apology-tom-gilmartin.html

To learn more about the dubious last-minute tax designation of Golden Island by Ahern.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185949-bertie-ahern-last-minute-tax-designation.html

For the incredible (and possibly unprecedented) veiled attack on a Supreme Court judge, Hardiman... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

For the story of Ahern, Dunlop, O'Callaghan, and the Neilstown stadium affair.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185197-why-did-ahern-ocallaghan-dunlop-lie-about-their-stadium-contacts.html

An example of condemned in the report still being treated as a god (he's very rich, you know).. http://www.politics.ie/forum/media/185305-examiner-newspapers-owen-ocallaghan.html

The main Mahon report thread from the day of publication.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184542-mahon-tribunal-report-published.html



Any point holding my breath waiting for some criminal investigation to occur? Or is that just for kids who nick runners, or people who don't pay their TV license? Those questions might possibly include a little sarcasm... But seriously, IS there a principle of the rule of law governing your country?
 


wishywashy

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
2,495
A year ago today, the Mahon Tribunal report was published to much hand-wringing and promises of action. Since then, indeed within about three weeks, it has been completely forgotten - hardly a word in the media, no apparent follow-up civil or criminal investigations, no pressure from anyone in political or media circles to ensure a thorough examination of the possibility of prosecutions, etc. etc.

I wrote this this the day before publication:



http://www.politics.ie/forum/news-comments/184453-article-mahon-report-coming-out-thursday-morning-2.html#post5087675

Three weeks after the report was published I posted this:


http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/186671-mahon-forgotten-about-already-does-rule-law-exist-your-country.html

The findings of the report were stunning. Not that most people would realise because, of course, the media concentrated all their attention on people like the clown Flynn and the sideshow that was the charlatan Ahern. There was a LOT more to it than that, taking in very big (and still riding high as a 'respected pillar of the community' in Cork) business interests, the incredible wrongdoing and subsequent false evidence of the country's biggest bank, AIB, the complicity in corruption of the Gardaí, other senior politicians and big business interests still covered for by the perjurer Dunlop etc. Issues such as what was turned up about the Neilstown Stadium project (and Ahern's role in it), Golden Island and the last-minute tax designation were hardly mentioned in the media coverage. Nor was the complicity of AIB in sanctioning large round figure VAT-free, invoice-free payments to a company that they themselves set up for Dunlop (they also set up the corruption 'war chest' account for him in Terenure, cashing cheques they knew he had falsely endorsed under a different name) which was used to hide the scale of payments going out (subsequently used for corruption) to Dunlop from the one man who objected to corruption and to Dunlop, Tom Gilmartin. There was hardly a word said about the extremely dubious last-minute (the night before the government fell in 1994) tax-designation of O'Callaghan's Golden Island shopping centre in Athlone, entirely separate from the ordinary designations already announced some weeks previously.

The Tribunal also even had some hard-hitting and thinly-veiled criticism of Mr. Justice Adrian Hardiman, whose own condemnations of the Tribunal and a particular witness before it were not in any way impeded by the fact that he had acted as Liam Lawlor's Senior Counsel before that very Tribunal (as which he described Gilmartin's allegation against Lawlor that he gatecrashed a London meeting and hustled himself in on the Bachelors' Walk project as 'crazy.. off the wall stuff... intrinsically unworthy of belief', despite it later being proved to be true - this didn't stop him attacking Gilmartin's credibility as a Supreme Court judge anyway). Does Ireland actually do the whole concept of 'absenting oneself due to being conflicted'? http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

None of this you would know from the (lack of) coverage. And where is the CAB investigation at? I know that there were CAB people looking at the report's findings, but a year on no sign of any appreciable intervention.

Anyway, to fill in the gaps for those of you who weren't born yet this time last year (about half of you, judging from varying post quality......), here is some of what you missed...

To learn a bit more about AIB's involvement in mistreatment, corruption and cover-up... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185092-mahons-amazing-findings-about-aib.html

For the Garda cover-up and complicity in the continuation of corruption.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/184618-joke-garda-investigation-1989-a.html

For an overview of the incredible injustice done to Tom Gilmartin several times over.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184613-country-owes-grovelling-apology-tom-gilmartin.html

To learn more about the dubious last-minute tax designation of Golden Island by Ahern.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185949-bertie-ahern-last-minute-tax-designation.html

For the incredible (and possibly unprecedented) veiled attack on a Supreme Court judge, Hardiman... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

For the story of Ahern, Dunlop, O'Callaghan, and the Neilstown stadium affair.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185197-why-did-ahern-ocallaghan-dunlop-lie-about-their-stadium-contacts.html

An example of condemned in the report still being treated as a god (he's very rich, you know).. http://www.politics.ie/forum/media/185305-examiner-newspapers-owen-ocallaghan.html

The main Mahon report thread from the day of publication.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184542-mahon-tribunal-report-published.html



Any point holding my breath waiting for some criminal investigation to occur? Or is that just for kids who nick runners, or people who don't pay their TV license? Those questions might possibly include a little sarcasm... But seriously, IS there a principle of the rule of law governing your country?


Yes there is,to answer your question. But only for the little people.
 
B

Boggle

A year ago today, the Mahon Tribunal report was published to much hand-wringing and promises of action. Since then, indeed within about three weeks, it has been completely forgotten - hardly a word in the media, no apparent follow-up civil or criminal investigations, no pressure from anyone in political or media circles to ensure a thorough examination of the possibility of prosecutions, etc. etc.

I wrote this this the day before publication:



http://www.politics.ie/forum/news-comments/184453-article-mahon-report-coming-out-thursday-morning-2.html#post5087675

Three weeks after the report was published I posted this:


http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/186671-mahon-forgotten-about-already-does-rule-law-exist-your-country.html

The findings of the report were stunning. Not that most people would realise because, of course, the media concentrated all their attention on people like the clown Flynn and the sideshow that was the charlatan Ahern. There was a LOT more to it than that, taking in very big (and still riding high as a 'respected pillar of the community' in Cork) business interests, the incredible wrongdoing and subsequent false evidence of the country's biggest bank, AIB, the complicity in corruption of the Gardaí, other senior politicians and big business interests still covered for by the perjurer Dunlop etc. Issues such as what was turned up about the Neilstown Stadium project (and Ahern's role in it), Golden Island and the last-minute tax designation were hardly mentioned in the media coverage. Nor was the complicity of AIB in sanctioning large round figure VAT-free, invoice-free payments to a company that they themselves set up for Dunlop (they also set up the corruption 'war chest' account for him in Terenure, cashing cheques they knew he had falsely endorsed under a different name) which was used to hide the scale of payments going out (subsequently used for corruption) to Dunlop from the one man who objected to corruption and to Dunlop, Tom Gilmartin. There was hardly a word said about the extremely dubious last-minute (the night before the government fell in 1994) tax-designation of O'Callaghan's Golden Island shopping centre in Athlone, entirely separate from the ordinary designations already announced some weeks previously.

The Tribunal also even had some hard-hitting and thinly-veiled criticism of Mr. Justice Adrian Hardiman, whose own condemnations of the Tribunal and a particular witness before it were not in any way impeded by the fact that he had acted as Liam Lawlor's Senior Counsel before that very Tribunal (as which he described Gilmartin's allegation against Lawlor that he gatecrashed a London meeting and hustled himself in on the Bachelors' Walk project as 'crazy.. off the wall stuff... intrinsically unworthy of belief', despite it later being proved to be true - this didn't stop him attacking Gilmartin's credibility as a Supreme Court judge anyway). Does Ireland actually do the whole concept of 'absenting oneself due to being conflicted'? http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

None of this you would know from the (lack of) coverage. And where is the CAB investigation at? I know that there were CAB people looking at the report's findings, but a year on no sign of any appreciable intervention.

Anyway, to fill in the gaps for those of you who weren't born yet this time last year (about half of you, judging from varying post quality......), here is some of what you missed...

To learn a bit more about AIB's involvement in mistreatment, corruption and cover-up... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185092-mahons-amazing-findings-about-aib.html

For the Garda cover-up and complicity in the continuation of corruption.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/184618-joke-garda-investigation-1989-a.html

For an overview of the incredible injustice done to Tom Gilmartin several times over.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184613-country-owes-grovelling-apology-tom-gilmartin.html

To learn more about the dubious last-minute tax designation of Golden Island by Ahern.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185949-bertie-ahern-last-minute-tax-designation.html

For the incredible (and possibly unprecedented) veiled attack on a Supreme Court judge, Hardiman... http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185289-mahon-report-judge-adrian-hardiman-story-media-missed.html

For the story of Ahern, Dunlop, O'Callaghan, and the Neilstown stadium affair.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/185197-why-did-ahern-ocallaghan-dunlop-lie-about-their-stadium-contacts.html

An example of condemned in the report still being treated as a god (he's very rich, you know).. http://www.politics.ie/forum/media/185305-examiner-newspapers-owen-ocallaghan.html

The main Mahon report thread from the day of publication.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/184542-mahon-tribunal-report-published.html



Any point holding my breath waiting for some criminal investigation to occur? Or is that just for kids who nick runners, or people who don't pay their TV license? Those questions might possibly include a little sarcasm... But seriously, IS there a principle of the rule of law governing your country?
No, there certainly is not. Laws and morality have become increasingly disconnected. With that disconnection comes the increasing need for the two tiered system of justice which we currently enjoy.

Good post.
 

carlovian

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Great op.

You wonder why we bothered with the tribunals if the findings are ignored.
 

turdsl

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The two major parties in this country do not want to hear the names either Moriarty or Mahon.
 

ManOfReason

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May 24, 2007
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I assume we have heard nothing because all the solicitors and barristers got paid, that was the whole point of it right?
 

macs magic

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Agree with you post.
The problem we have is that the Government are up to their necks with the people that are involved in the report.
 

Ryan Tubbs

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Perhaps people should acquaint themselves with the facts before going off on mad rants about the Government shelving the report?

Of the 64 recommendations in Mahon - 29 have been implemented and 14 are in the process of being implemented, with a further 18 under consideration and the remaining 3 shelved indefinitely.

http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Planning/FileDownLoad,30749,en.pdf

Prosecutions by the DPP, the Revenue etc. are a matter for them and nothing to do with Fine Gael and Labour.
 

toratoratora

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May 21, 2009
Messages
597
Great op.

You wonder why we bothered with the tribunals if the findings are ignored.
I'll have you know that those 131D reg jaguars don't buy themselves! How are the justices and the barrister set supposed to make ends meet if there is not a tribunal or two to earn their keep of?
 

mr. jings

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It applies equally to Moriarty, by the way. I have posted extensively on that topic too, and the point stands in relation to it as well as Mahon However I took the opportunity of today being the anniversary of the Mahon report to concentrate on Mahon in the OP.
I had an initial frisson of excitement when the Mahon report was published, but I quickly came to my senses and lowered my expectations accordingly. We don't do political accountability of any flavour in this country, the warped esprit de corps of our political class sees to that thank you very much. Great OP by the way.
 
Joined
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Messages
18,709
Perhaps people should acquaint themselves with the facts before going off on mad rants about the Government shelving the report?

Of the 64 recommendations in Mahon - 29 have been implemented and 14 are in the process of being implemented, with a further 18 under consideration and the remaining 3 shelved indefinitely.

http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Planning/FileDownLoad,30749,en.pdf

Prosecutions by the DPP, the Revenue etc. are a matter for them and nothing to do with Fine Gael and Labour.
The problem was never the legislation - there has been adequate corruption legislation for years - it was the complete non-enforcement of the legislation. The OP is more concerned with the lack of criminal prosecutions (or indeed much sign of investigation - though I know for a fact that CAB did some preliminary asking around, though didn't seem to have much clue of what they were talking about. CAB are also conflicted in relation to Dunlop - they effectively 'sterilized' him by prosecuting him for that part of his perjury and corruption he admitted in order to use him to give evidence against some small-fry nonentity councillors, but Dunlop has continued to perjure himself senseless and cover up for the real big boys).
 

carlovian

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I'll have you know that those 131D reg jaguars don't buy themselves! How are the justices and the barrister set supposed to make ends meet if there is not a tribunal or two to earn their keep of?
Fair point mlud, fair point.
 

ibis

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Tribunals facilitate ten years of kicking the can down the road. Then the road and can disappear. Magic!
Well, more that you're at the end of the road and facing away from it - turning and looking back requires an effort, particularly in the goldfish bowl of media.
 
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As OP's go, that one ticks a lot of boxes.Comprehensive and well-sourced.

I've nothing to add to it at all.

I may have my differences with TA on matters religious, but that shouldn't stand in the way of acknowledging what is an excellent summary of the state of play after Mahon.
 
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Also Mahon related, though also broader - a thread on the consequences for the rule of law, and the effect on young kids in deprived areas watching a succession of politicians lie their way out of trouble... http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/123480-perjury-politicians-devaluation-truth.html And one on Ahern in particular (again, notice all the Ahern defenders I had to put up with back in 2007 - all gone now bar tonys).. http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/21396-aherns-moral-authority.html

A defence of the Mahon tribunal itself, during the attacks upon it, despite scepticism about the general tribunal process and its use for kicking certain maggot-infested cans down the road.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/45443-tribunals-worth-every-penny.html

Two threads on Ahern's bagman Richardson, and the use to which that Willdover account was put (money paid in, allegedly for FF, finds its way out again, into Ahern's pockets - there's a name for that...).. http://www.politics.ie/forum/current-affairs/22796-des-richardson.html http://www.politics.ie/forum/tribunals/29012-mahon-ulster-bank-contradict-des-richardson.html

A VERY interesting little episode, revealing as much as you need to know about the cowboys who ran AIB - and not a peep in the media despite how big a scandal it was.. http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/27988-aib-scandal-no-media-have-picked-up-yet.html

Another potential scandal not mentioned anywhere in the media at all - Dunlop confessed to corruption and perjury in April 2000, the Tribunal broke for Easter the following day with lots of big boys worried about what else Dunlop would confess to, and who went to meet him in secret within a couple of weeks? Yep, the Taoiseach of the country... http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice/24653-ahern-met-dunlop-after-perjury-corruption-confession.html
 

Boy M5

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May 20, 2010
Messages
21,420
Excellent work Toxic Avenger.
As I posted repeatedly Irish journalism is in a sorry state and the media failed in the bubble, its failing now.

What have we got? Seemingly the Phoenix and P.ie, plus this week on RTÉ?
 


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