Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, perambulating around the RDS Horse Show with barefaced insouciance. In a matter of days, The accursed Mahon Tribunal would be over and they seemed to be depending on our collective amnesia to let things slide. Not a bad, if sneaky, strategy to adopt, as we emerge from at least eleven years of political and financial chicanery.
As I gazed at Don Coyote and his sidekick, Sanka Pinta, parading around in their two bad suits, I was tempted to smile, until I remembered this was the pair, deceiver and donkey, who screwed- up the economy until they were each obliged to resign, something that was totally alien to them and their Fianna Fail party ethos.
It still galls us to think that Ahern is walking around with a huge pension, probably in cash, some in sterling, stuffed into every available pocket, while Cowen is probably still murdering “The Lakes of Ponchartrain”at sing-songs up and down the country.
Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor, hapless clown Frank Dunlop and the geriatric George Redmond, are the only four so far to find themselves singing The Old Triangle from the inside. I don’t give a toss about Burke and Lawlor, two bullies, nor George Redmond, a geriatric bungler. But Dunlop could have been saved his days in the pokey in the past had he follow the Lance Armstrong doping trial in America. He would have learnt novel ways to present his evidence.
More specifically, he might have been spared his most recent humiliation, when the charges of bribery and corruption of councillors and businessmen, collapsed spectacularly at the expense of Dunlop’s well-being.
Armstrong’s career and reputation as a phenomenal seven times winner of the “Tour De France,” appeared to have gone down the pan, forever, until he found his way around the U-bend and confronted the mess that lay before him. The US Government had taken a federal law suit against him, accusing him of committing fraud by insisting that he was not using drugs when he was riding for US Postal Team, which is publicly funded.
Armstrong responded by accusing the United States Government of being content to overlook other drug-taking allegations, happy to take advantage of the huge publicity that surrounded Armstrong and his US Postal Service team.
“The government wanted a winner and all the publicity and acclaim that goes with being his sponsor. ”
Is this a “thing” with all rulers. Who can forget the objectionable, opportunistic presence of Charles J. Haughey, the Irish Napoleon, on the winner’s podium of the 1987 Tour De France, when he embarrassed the whole country with his effusive embrace and congratulations for the winner, Stephen Roche.
“The government was not merely aware of these allegations, the Postal Service was concerned about them, but despite its knowledge and concern, the official of the USA, charged with responsibility to act, did absolutely nothing. The only thing the government did was enter into a new four year sponsorship agreement entitling it to special perks associated with the Tour de France.”
The person in charge did nothing? Sounds familiar. You could compare it to FF knowing the property bubble was going to burst, long before it did. Anybody who doubted it, could be swayed back on side by the giddiness of the FF tent at the Galway Races and the euphoria that permeated the atmosphere in The Shelbourne and The Four Seasons Ice Bar, where all the talk was of yachts and helicopters.
The Galway Races are over now and our super-tame coalition is on holidays, hopefully getting some fresh air, far from the toxic fumes of The Dail in Winter. In Summer, deputies can temporally revert to being more hands-on family men, more vigorous champions of the rights of the church, as opposed to the those of the state, an attitude that cuts no ice with our new paradigm of totalitarian democracy.
Like Armstrong, Dunlop should have sued Fianna Fail for fraud, by allowing him believe, in their tenure, the property bubble was never going to burst. Spreading the brown envelopes to grease the passage of planning applications was almost a patriotic vocation for the patsy of the avaricious bankers, builders and politicians who plied their trades so recklessly.
Armstrong’s case, had its genesis fifteen years ago, when our equivalent investigation called, The Mahon Tribunal, had just commenced. The tribunals made millions for many and nobody that mattered went to jail. Fifteen years later, having been through The Beef/Hamilton Tribunal, The Mahon/Flood Tribunal, and the Moriarty Tribunal, we are now such dab hands at tribunals, we should, as a money-making exercise, begin marketing Ireland as the “in”place to hold your tribunals.
“Come to Ireland for your tribunal. We guarantee SEXISM, LIES and SING-ALONGS. “Article Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail, Saturday 3rd August 2013 Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99 Free Kindle Reader – download app