We were never meant to know how much our President spent mourning a dead Pope

He3

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They say that news is something that someone somewhere does not want the public to know. We were never meant to know how much public money President McAleese spent mourning the dead Pope John Paul 11. Thanks to Ken Foxe of the Sunday Tribune we know more than we were supposed to know. Someone somewhere is not happy about this.

All records relating to President McAleese are supposed to be exempt from legislation governing freedom of information and are not available to the public.

THE Department of Health has said it will not comment on any contacts between itself and Áras an Uachtaráin over the inadvertent release of expenses relating to President Mary McAleese.

Details of the President's travel arrangements on an official trip abroad for the funeral of Pope John Paul II were published in the Sunday Tribune last Sunday.

It is understood contact was made between Áras an Uachtaráin and the department last week inquiring as to how the documents found their way into the public domain.
Department refuses to comment on President's expenses
 


pujols

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It is the law. Record relating to the President are exempt.

Big whoop.
 

firefighter

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Ireland has a very special relationship with the Vatican (despite the scandal involving the care of children) and it's no surprise that our Catholic President would mourn the loss of such a great figure.
 

Luigi Vampa

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Why the big focus on just the Pope's funeral I wonder ?

What about other events / functions attended abroad ?
 
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eoghanacht

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Chirst it didn't take long for the local opus dei wannabes to latch onto this thread
 

He3

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rebus

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Ireland has a very special relationship with the Vatican (despite the scandal involving the care of children) and it's no surprise that our Catholic President would mourn the loss of such a great figure.
mourn the loss.........more like hell of a wake
 

Sync

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1. The records shouldn't be private. That's not McAleese's fault, but the idea that the expenses shouldn't be subject FOI requests is silly.
2. Whoever released/lost the data in the DOH needs to be fired.
3. Why on earth did the DOH have access to the President's expense files?
 

Cruimh

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It's a nice junket for the elite. Eamonn McCann has written about these trips to see beatifications etc in the past. Fair enough , if they want to have some representation why not sub some ordinary devout Catholic who wouldn't be able to go to Rome out of their own pocket rather than the parasites who already get enough air miles off the state's back ?
 

Pabilito

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Ireland has a very special relationship with the Vatican (despite the scandal involving the care of children) and it's no surprise that our Catholic President would mourn the loss of such a great figure.
I take it you are referring to the loss of a figure of €3,198 for one night in a hotel?
 

Radix

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Ireland has a very special relationship with the Vatican (despite the scandal involving the care of children) and it's no surprise that our Catholic President would mourn the loss of such a great figure.
Not long before he died, JPII said that he agreed with the sentiments of one André Malraux, who opined that "the twenty first century will be the century of religion, or it will not be at all."

As we now see the possible implosive consequences worldwide of the moral bankruptcy which has led to financial bankruptcy, surely mankind has to be at a crossroads.

That we decide now for example, that the passing of JPII was indeed worthy of some marking by way of national representation, will be an indicator of that future, or lack thereof!
 

PetrasG

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There are several issues that need to be looked at here. I will put what I see the issues as and my personal response.

1) Should the Irish Government be attending the funeral of a pope? - As a head of state and the head of a religion that 86% (2006 census figures) of people living in Ireland identify as their religion, the yes the government should be sending a senior representative to the funeral.

2) Was value for money achieved? I have not seen the breakdown of costs of the visit so this one is hard to call. However, if the figure quoted of EUR 3,198 is for one persons hotel costs for one night then no it could have been done much cheaper.

3) Is what has been done legal (the visit and the refusal to disclose the figures) legal? - apparently yes.

4) Should the presidents records be exempt from FOI? - No, there is no security risk to this, only a political cover up.
 

pujols

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The reason that the President's records are exempt from FOI is, I understand, to avoid the politicisation of the office, such as is at risk of happening now.

Imagine if you will a political party attacking the President for the cost of attending an event in the normal course of her duties (as this was); If the President is forced to defend him or herself, then they may well get dragged into a partisan political row which undermines the entire role and purpose of the office as envisaged in our constitution.

In a more extreme example, there may be internal records relating to such a visit not touching on expense but on more sensitive aspects, personnel etc which might fall into the same trap.

It is better that she be exempt or else the bloody Daily Mail will be after everything and trying to stir up trouble all the time.
 

Santos

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I take it you are referring to the loss of a figure of €3,198 for one night in a hotel?
The expenses system are ridiculously abused in Ireland. However, in this case I'm not sure I see a whole lot wrong. I'm sure every hotel's prices shot through the roof after the death and we can't exactly have our President staying in a hostel.
Although it might be a good idea to have a special living area in embassies that could be used on such occasions.
 

cyberianpan

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It showed, among other things, that a luxury suite booked in the name of Martin McAleese for the President had cost €3,198
Well I was just quoted €780 a night for the top suite ... €357 for the junior suite... if I went to peak season and weekend that was € 1.034 / € 517


It would appear the Hawkins House mandarins have tastes even more expensive than the Iveagh House ones. The same room as Enda would have done her.

cYp
 

The Field Marshal

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The expenses system are ridiculously abused in Ireland. However, in this case I'm not sure I see a whole lot wrong. I'm sure every hotel's prices shot through the roof after the death and we can't exactly have our President staying in a hostel.
Although it might be a good idea to have a special living area in embassies that could be used on such occasions.
Extract from the article
However, access to a copy of a bill, detailing a €3,198 cost for a single night's stay at the Hotel de la Minerve for McAleese, was sanctioned by the Department of Health.

It showed, among other things, that a luxury suite booked in the name of Martin McAleese for the President had cost €3,198 and a room for Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny was €1,200.

------------------------------

Terrible the way the Irish state treat their politicians.



I enclose some photos of the extremely harsh living conditions our president and some politicians had to endure at the funeral of JP2 in this clearly unsuitable hotel.

What is wrong with our dept of foreign affairs,I ask?



Hotel Rome Centre | 5 star Luxury Grand Hotel de la Minerve Rome





One of the smaller bedrooms with attached jacuzzi.
 

vanla sighs

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Well I was just quoted €780 a night for the top suite ... €357 for the junior suite... if I went to peak season and weekend that was € 1.034 / € 517


It would appear the Hawkins House mandarins have tastes even more expensive than the Iveagh House ones. The same room as Enda would have done her.

cYp
Who knows maybe she was in the same room as Enda petunia Or with Bertie, let the lazy, condescending ***** work for her money.
 
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MarkD

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In fairness, once JP2 kicked it I bet midweek specials weren't exactly on offer in Rome since they knew they'd have no problem renting out rooms for a while.
 

vanla sighs

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In fairness, once JP2 kicked it I bet midweek specials weren't exactly on offer in Rome since they knew they'd have no problem renting out rooms for a while.
I'm pretty sure the could have found cheaper had they looked. They could also have considered staying at the Irish ambassadors residence in Rome. In fact I wonder if they actually even needed to stay overnight in Rome at all? They needed to go to Rome fine but did they really needed to spend a night there I wonder? Why not simply have flown home after the ceremony?
 

NYCKY

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The title in the thread is ridiculous, would the President ever be mourning a live Pope?

Getting hotels in Rome at the time of the Popes funeral, was a complete bunfight. Besides, what do people expect, the President should stay in a motel 6? That would be a bigger story.
 


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