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Emily Davison

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Several issues arise from the resignation of EU Commissioner Phil Hogan in relation to Gardai following on from the infamous hooley in Galway that are being sidelined but which are of enough importance to warrant their own thread.

Politicans Immune from the Law

According to Phil Hogan he would not have been stopped by the Gardai at all if the Garda had known he was an EU Commissioner/Important Person/Politician/Politically connected. How true is this. Surely we have moved beyond this. That no person, no matter their standing is about the law. That they will be treated in the same manner as any other member of the public.

Caution versus penalty points

Presumably this is at Garda discretion. Is this fair. Seems fair enough to me. Policemen have to make such decisions all the time. Many of us will have done something wrong but the policeman at the time decided not to issue a fine or points. But what if it's abused by Gardai by not handing over penalty points because of who you are.

We don't know in relation to Hogan whether he told the Garda who he was and whether that was the reason he only received a caution. It's clear the Garda didn't know who he was when he was stopped. But the Gardai knew it well enough to send the information to the Garda Commissioner subsequently. Or immediatly.

Public Privacy-GDRP-Gardai-Garda Commissioner-Newspapers

As citizens we are entitled to not having details of our everyday lives being turned over to the powers that be. In this case on what basis does a serving Garda end up telling the Garda Commissioner who in turn tells the Minister for Justice who tells the Taoiseach. We were quoted on radio a section of some legislation that allows information to be passed on. Does this really apply to a minor issue like using a mobile phone. Surely such legislation would be for specific serious matters. Murder, rape, assault, that kind of thing. Where it would be warranted that the information is passed on.

We should know the time line of when the information was passed on.

This is wide open to abuse. Against Phil Hogan in this instance. Against Mick Wallace (then TD, now MEP) by Alan Shatter then Justice Minister, and against Clare Daly (then TD, now MEP).

Does GDRP have any role to play in this. Can Phil Hogan complain to the Data Commissioner that his personal details was passed on to so many people.

How often do the local Garda report on politicians all the way up the line. That doesn't seem right. Against natural justice. What is the policy and procedures for this. And of the deliberate leaking to newspapes of such information.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
I suspect there will be a system of PEP flagging off the PULSE system. PEP is a code or flag on a name which means 'Politically Exposed Person' and it usually means it is a good idea to make sure ts are crossed and 'i's are dotted in this context.

PEP came up as a term in the Anglo-Irish Bank capers as well where there was a backstairs loan system with its own special clerk reporting to Fitzpatrick, for instance.

Every database I've seen around people always has a PEP or flagging system whereby someone of note or fame or celebrity or in the public eye will have a warning on it usually to signal to the person checking that there could be attempts to imitate or access someone's details as they are a PEP or 'known for' but it does have the secondary benefit when one of those flagged names appears to warn anyone there is likely to be considerable attention paid to the data on that account and to make sure they handle it extra carefully.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I suspect the PEP flagging will have automatically signalled on the Garda systems that someone with that flag had been stopped or had notation added, name flagged up, it would have alerted someone more senior and it would get passed up the line and it wouldn't be surprising that the Garda Commissioner's office would want to know if there was a sh1tstorm about to break on a PEP. That way they can get a senior eyeball on the procedures carried out to make sure everything is solid from the AGS side.

Hogan would almost certainly have some kind of flag against his name, address, license plate, passport and so on.
 

Emily Davison

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Lumpy in relation to PEP I was listening once to an RTE documentary and was amazed some journalists receiving healthcare in Ireland found out their file was marked to note they were important/journalists in some way so that they were treated well. Which they were.

(I hadn't heard that PEP word before)
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I suppose they have to be recorded somehow but may expire after a set period. Most databases could handle that. Down to the discretion of the Garda I suppose. If they ajudge that they are dealing with someone reasonable likely to use the warning usefully then they would be unlikely to make a recorded data deal of it.

Some situation where someone is acting the arse and the garda thinks they aren't listening? Note on PULSE is a good way to tell another garda who encounters said deaf motorist could up the ante a bit.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I'd say it is a fairly safe bet that someone with a PEP flag being cautioned even under Garda discretionary powers the Sergeant and upwards would want to be aware of it in case there is any blowback from connections of said motorist later. Senior Gardai would want to know if there was something like that possible on the horizon.
 

CatullusV

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Yup. I have experience of the PEP thing or the connected person stuff.

There is logic behind it. If I have connections on high and have access to the media there is a risk that I will use those media connections to complain about my treatment. The higher levels in the Gardaí need to be aware in order to respond.

It happens in business too. I once had my arse kicked when I responded to a Sev 1 incident out of hours. It involved 10s of thousands of ATMs on the east coast of the USA going down. Once I resolved it I went back to sleep. The CEO of the bank sent a mail thanking our CEO. Ours was unhappy that he didn't know of the incident. A new policy was put in place - all sev 1 calls must be immediately notified to management.

Three weeks later the policy was quietly shelved. After 21 such notifications my boss required sleep. One of the calls became legendary. It was around midnight and she was out of breath. She was obviously in the throes of some vigorous activity. She rang back ten minutes later saying that she was now in the cigarette phase.

She was the one who told the story on the following workday. I, the gentleman I am, would never have uttered a word.
 

CatullusV

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By the way, in the banking firms where I have worked politically connected people were highlighted for the purposes of additional scrutiny rather than reduced. Their potential contact list created a risk of greater breaches than could be engineered by Joe Bloggs, 13 Acacia Drive.

In addition, this extended to close family and associates/friends. The purpose was defensive and not necessarily benign to the target. If I became, for instance, Minister for Finance, others in my circle might try to milk that- even entirely without my involvement.

The banking regulations are now quite stiff.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Yes, I've seen similar systems with similar processes.
 

CatullusV

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My very rare interactions with our men and women in blue have generally been positive and they do extend some use of their discretion. If you are calm and polite they generally remain so too. Sometimes they will just remind you of the situation and ask you to avoid a repetition.

I was once stopped in Naas by a couple of cops who had nothing better to do. The car was brand new, so obviously no tax disc or insurance form. These were all in process. The checked the tyres lights etc. I had literally taken delivery of the thing two days before. It had 200 miles on the clock. The problem seemed to be that I was wearing a tracksuit. I was on my way to play hockey. That seemed to be an issue as well.

I had ten days to produce my documents. Impossible. I was leaving to travel to Zimbabwe two days later.

I dropped in to my local station to explain the situation. The Guard at the counter laughed and made a comment about those lazy feckers in Naas. Then he entered into the register that I had presented the documents required.
 

former wesleyan

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My very rare interactions with our men and women in blue have generally been positive and they do extend some use of their discretion. If you are calm and polite they generally remain so too. Sometimes they will just remind you of the situation and ask you to avoid a repetition.

I was once stopped in Naas by a couple of cops who had nothing better to do. The car was brand new, so obviously no tax disc or insurance form. These were all in process. The checked the tyres lights etc. I had literally taken delivery of the thing two days before. It had 200 miles on the clock. The problem seemed to be that I was wearing a tracksuit. I was on my way to play hockey. That seemed to be an issue as well.

I had ten days to produce my documents. Impossible. I was leaving to travel to Zimbabwe two days later.

I dropped in to my local station to explain the situation. The Guard at the counter laughed and made a comment about those lazy feckers in Naas. Then he entered into the register that I had presented the documents required.
Good job you don't play cricket. Yidabin shot.
 

NYCKY

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I suspect there will be a system of PEP flagging off the PULSE system. PEP is a code or flag on a name which means 'Politically Exposed Person' and it usually means it is a good idea to make sure ts are crossed and 'i's are dotted in this context.

PEP came up as a term in the Anglo-Irish Bank capers as well where there was a backstairs loan system with its own special clerk reporting to Fitzpatrick, for instance.

Every database I've seen around people always has a PEP or flagging system whereby someone of note or fame or celebrity or in the public eye will have a warning on it usually to signal to the person checking that there could be attempts to imitate or access someone's details as they are a PEP or 'known for' but it does have the secondary benefit when one of those flagged names appears to warn anyone there is likely to be considerable attention paid to the data on that account and to make sure they handle it extra carefully.

The big banks (and assume the small ones too) all have procedures in place for dealing with PEPs. They have to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest, headline risk, embarrassment for the bank. When they vet and onboard new clients and review existing ones they check for political connections, the board of directors, management etc and it also extends to former political figures.
 

CatullusV

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The big banks (and assume the small ones too) all have procedures in place for dealing with PEPs. They have to ensure that there are no conflicts of interest, headline risk, embarrassment for the bank. When they vet and onboard new clients and review existing ones they check for political connections, the board of directors, management etc and it also extends to former political figures.
I've been through it many times. The risk of breaking the law and the associated reputational damage to the bank is a powerful motivator. As you have pointed out, the scrutiny continues post-career.

One of the things which many people don't realise is that if someone in the UK or Ireland facilitated a transaction by an American which was in conflict with US law - let us say a transfer to a group designated as terrorist by the US, or as simple as a means to evade US tax - the bank person has committed a crime against the US. No matter if they were working in Norwich and had no idea of what the transaction was, they are candidates for automatic extradition. Automatic. I think that it was Hague who agreed to it.
 

Rural

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The PEP thing is obviously the smart way of dealing with people in the public eye.

But what really gets my goat is this "Do you not know who I am?" Clique in Ireland. Hogan just seems to be pissed off that the Gardaí who stopped him in Kildare didn't recognise him and wave him on. This attitude is part of what's seriously wrong in Irish politics.
 

WayOutWest

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What is the status of the Garda investigation into the Clifden shindigg?
Wouldn’t expect much there. Problem with cameras that night I’d guess.
If they did Sweeney(owner) for hotel non compliance surely all others In attendance would also be prosecuted, no chance that’s going to happen.
Sweeney making no comment until investigation is completed.
Grealish and Cassidy put blame onto hotel federation and the hotel itself. If hotel is fined we might hear a different version and nobody involved would want that.
 

CatullusV

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The PEP thing is obviously the smart way of dealing with people in the public eye.

But what really gets my goat is this "Do you not know who I am?" Clique in Ireland. Hogan just seems to be pissed off that the Gardaí who stopped him in Kildare didn't recognise him and wave him on. This attitude is part of what's seriously wrong in Irish politics.
That particular clique is global, I fear. The good thing is that it sometimes rebounds. Thankfully, there are many public figures or celebs who respect the people who put them where they are and who behave accordingly. I recall once being ahead of Albert Reynolds at check in at Dublin Airport. A check in clerk opened a new station and waved him over. He refused, saying that he would take his turn and was enjoying chatting with the people in the queue. I've seen other examples. A bar in California, were Susannah(sp) Hoff- lead singer for the Bangles, showed her appreciation for being let alone in peace with her friend by standing a round for the room. She didn't merely put it on her tab. She took the orders and served them.

Then you have Harry Maguire this week.
 

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