Wednesday, 7 October 2009

O’Donoghue resigns… kicking and screaming.

It took a long time, but the Dail’s chairman was finally asked to resign by the "opposition" after spending €90,000 of taxpayers’ money since taking office in 2007. Prior to that, the Fianna Fail politician had submitted expenses exceeding €500,000 when Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. Expenses.

There are two very telling things about this saga.

1) It was only due to Tribune journalist Ken Foxe and the tireless work of Gavin Sheridan, of Gavin's Blog, that these details saw the light of day via the Freedom of Information Act.

Interestingly, another well-known political chancer - Charlie McCreevy - introduced fees in 2003 for information sought under the FOI. He also increased the exemption period for cabinet records for five to ten years. So information that was once free, could suddenly be very expensive indeed. I quote Gavin below:

“Curious how the Tribune, I believe, only managed to get access to the information just as the Dail was going into recess. But what is perhaps more important is the attitude of the FOI officer. At first they looked for €600 to get the information requested, which was later reduced to €200. This is clearly unacceptable.

Let me be very clear. As a citizen, I have a right to know about how every cent is spent by every Minister, TD and Senator. I have a right to know how taxpayers’ money is spent. It really is that simple. I want details of every single expenditure. For the moment only ministerial expenses can be accessed in this almost detailed way. TD expenses simply fall under broad categories. This has to change, and I will be pursuing this through every means necessary.

And one thing for the Tribune. Publish all the documents you received in the FOI to the web. This isn’t just your data, it’s our data.”

2) Why did it take so long for the opposition to demand O’Donoghue’s resignation?

Are they afraid of similar scrutiny?

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Ella said...

Hi GM, Not a moment too soon to say bye bye to John O'Donoghue. Another thing the reason McCreey introduced the charge under the FOI was because he was tired of revelations being brought into the public domain.

Get Smart said...

I have yet to hear of a politician who is not a crook. You can be sure he will get a nice big payoff.

Ella said...

You won't believe this but it would appear he claimed for a £1 STG donation to Unicef. See attached link.

I agree with Get Smart, he will get a nice big payoff.

Ella said...

Hi GM, me again! of course it's not bye to John O'Donoghue, it's bye bye to his position as Ceann Comhairle, doesn't he still have his job as a TD. Or will the "opposition" demand that he resigns that too? I doubt it.

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for the comments.

It's amazing stuff. I've just seen some half-wits from his constituency saying what a "great man" he is, and how he's "being hounded out of office".

I have to assume they are as corrupt as he is? I wonder what the tax-take is from that quarter of the country? Maybe Revenue should take notice.

Anonymous said...

HI GM .THIS CULCHIE buffoon is a prime example of a peasant on horseback he should f##ckoff and join mugsy mugabe and his team of financial wizards ,on another topic ,inearly choked on my porridge when iread where irish children having to bring toilet paper to school no money for wipe,and NAMA is not in effect yet,its looks grim for our great little nation,maybe just maybe this story was planted by our envious friends across the bay who live on cold tea and warm beer and wipe with little squares of wax paper everybody knows nothing sticks to wax paper except the english and it ends up under their fingernails which they then paint, you cannot trust people like this. cheerio

The Gombeen Man said...

And rightly envious too, Mr BH. Not just due to our world-beating economic prowess, good government, and honest leadership, but also because we have Club Orange and Tayto.

thing fish said...

Interesting enough about McCreevy, when the bill to introduce fees and to restrict the FOI act was before the Dail in March 2003, none of the top brass from the Dept of Finance were available in the Dail to debate the issue because McCreevy and his junior minister were at Cheltenham.

McCreevy's response was that he had been going to Cheltenham for 30 years blah blah why should I be in Dail Eireann debating the restricyion of FOI when I want to be at the Cheltenham races.

The Gombeen Man said...

Priorities, eh? Or should that be "eeeeeeeeeeeehhhh"?