Updates that highlight public cases pertinent to my Case Study/Reports will be notified here at the beginning of my Case Study before the Introduction. Some Updates (in ‘Updates’ section further below) might have an additional ‘Note (date of Note)’ of one paragraph (unless contd.) added afterwards, so make sure to reread now and again. These updates are very important to my Case Study/Reports in that I can relate the unethical practices they highlight back to my Reports to show that my Reports had already accurately exposed these types of practices in the Irish Government, Irish oversight bodies and other organizations, long before these current public cases were uncovered and in some cases before they even occurred.
Update 11/11/2022 – see ‘Update’ section below.
Update 12/09/2022 – see ‘Update’ section below.
Update 01/12/2023 – see ‘Update’ section below.
Update 01/17/2023 – see ‘Update’ section below.
Update 01/27/2023 – see ‘Update’ section below.
Final Update 2/10/2023 – see ‘Update’ section below.
(We suggest you stay up to date by visiting The Ditch (link below) from time to time which, while not related to Failte 32, since its inception in April 2021 has endeavored to hold the Irish Government accountable similar to Failte 32 and is exposing cases Failte 32 could only suggest in its update Report (2018) might be possible (See Update 01/12/2023 – 01/16/2023 below). There you can read about more recent cases not referred to in Failte 32’s ‘Updates’ below. It was entertaining to watch Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Micheál Martin, recently (April 27, 2023) seemingly trying to subdue his emotions when answering a question in Parliament about The Ditch’s report on Niall Collins obviously because he knows The Ditch, unlike Irish Government oversight bodies, is holding high level Irish Government ministers accountable, and according to the Irish Times, “The Ditch has made its name for intensively detailed investigations into the property dealings of elected representatives. It is a niche area but its investigations have been highly impactful and have resulted in the downfall of two ministers of state, Robert Troy and Damien English, in the past year.”
Unlike the cases/scandals mentioned below in my ‘Updates’, the Niall Collins case is a “political campaign” by The Ditch according to Martin. I wonder why this particular case is striking a nerve with Martin?
Niall Collins voted to sell public land bought by wife (ontheditch.com) )
Before getting to the Introduction of my case study, I just want to make a comparison between my case and the case the US District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg has brought against former President Donald Trump as I feel it’s a good example that will simplify your understanding of the allegations I have made against the Irish Government.
I wish I had had an ‘Irish’ version of Alvin Bragg to prosecute my recent case against the Irish Government. While I had to take a different legal approach (and I had to represent myself as not even one Irish law firm would take my case) to try to ‘indirectly’ prove my case at the Irish High Court as per my case study below, the underlying crime was similar to that reflecting the approach Bragg is taking.
The crime by the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), and indirectly Enterprise Ireland, was the falsifying of business records in order to cover up for the awarding of tens of millions of dollars of Irish taxpayer funds to certain firms outside of the competitive tender process, a process every other firm, including American ones, had to follow.
My case didn’t even get near the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) because it would have had to have been referred for the most part by the Irish Government or Gardai…how convenient!
In New York, you don’t need the NYPD or government to refer a case to the DA. If the police refuse to do an investigation, you can go up the food chain and ask the DA if they will.
This is the difference between the US legal and judicial system, one which you can trust and have faith in, and Ireland’s protectionist, secretive and overall deplorable system that never holds the Irish Government accountable.
What if the Police Won’t Investigate my Case? – FindLaw
While there is quite a lot to go through if just reading my Reports and website, all of this is put into evidentiary order when you follow my High Court hearing thus reducing the volume of reading considerably for anyone who doesn’t have the time to read them all. This is why I continued to pursue my case at the High Court, so that I could go through my Reports and make my case specifically on legal grounds by relating their content to the appropriate statutes. While my Reports are accurate and credible and revealing, it would be difficult for anyone reading them on their own to determine if a case could be made at the High Court. My High Court hearing doesn’t necessarily prove all of the allegations I made in my Reports, but it does prove (see next section below) that a crime was committed to cover up for these allegations thereby at the very least corroborating my allegations.
It’s as close as I can get to proving my case by proving, via the High Court, that certain bodies lied about the existence of a certain document that, if released, would prove my case.
Before proceeding, have a quick read of Information on this section | Failte32 connecting the Irish in NYC
Summary of my case (Reports) against the Irish Government
1. A former Irish Government Minister fraudulently took advantage of Innovation Fund Ireland (IFI – an Irish Government funding scheme) when he knew he was going to be soon out of office by preferentially awarding funding (up to €250M) from IFI to a U.S. VC firm/s outside of competitive tender rules and just before the general elections. After the elections he would not have been able to do this as the elections were going to occur before the IFI evaluation process was completed. IFI was run by two Irish Government agencies, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NTMA/NPRF) and Enterprise Ireland (EI), both of which were involved in the crime. This was the first part of crime.
2. Falsifying the NTMA’s Annual Report and Financial Statements to cover up for the above crime. The NTMA/NPRF gave the impression that IFI was a private entity (private equity) as opposed to a government entity in its annual financial statements. Therefore, it misrepresented in its accounts a transfer of funds from the NTMA to IFI (from one government entity to another) as being an investment in a private equity fund. This was the second part of the crime.
3. I have no doubt additional crimes have been committed during my attempts to hold all those involved accountable.
My first Report sought an investigation, with little success, from many oversight bodies (including all Irish Ombudsman offices, SIPO, the Central Bank of Ireland, Gardai) and Irish Government Agencies and Departments relevant to my case.
First milestone (p. 17 of Report): “So this is where I currently stand i.e. I have to get evidence upon which the Commission could consider that each such person may personally have done a ‘specified act’. Therefore, I decided I would have to identify which members of the NPRF Commission made, or agreed to, the decision to award $50M to the U.S. VC firm in question (not all of them might have agreed to the 12 decision). If I can establish the name(s) of the decision maker(s), this may be sufficient to establish whether “each such person may personally have done a ‘specified act’.””
(Note: “the Commission” referred to above is SIPO)
In order to achieve the above, I made requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act 2014) in 2014 and earlier by directly contacting various Irish Government Departments and Agencies and requesting an investigation into my case. I was able to retrieve additional information that supported my case, although the Irish Government put up many roadblocks. I also contacted most (statistically) Irish law firms and some pertinent legal bodies to request an expert opinion on my case, but there were no takers (Section 5 of Report – I didn’t include names of law firms cited in Section 5 of this Report but ‘unmasked’ some at a later time in my update Report and ‘one pager’).
Having sought the above FOI documents from various Irish Government bodies with minimal success, I decided to appeal to the Office of the Information commissioner. This is where my first Report left off.
(I also include in my first Report some insights into my FDI Group’s interactions with Irish Government agencies and officials)
My update (second) Report continues where my first Report left off and, along with the findings in my first Report, led to my submissions (two complaints) to the Standards in Public Office (SIPO) for investigation. SIPO unfortunately refused to do an investigation and therefore I subsequently sent my SIPO complaints and other associated communications to many other oversight bodies for investigation including PwC, the Comptroller and Auditor General (Ireland) and all prescribed accountancy bodies (PAB’s) but with no success.
However, both Reports certainly demonstrate that a crime (multiple) was committed and a systemic problem with Ireland’s oversight system, and that the Irish Government will protect corruption at all costs including by not adhering to professional/oversight standards, indeed ignoring them altogether. These documents/Reports collectively catalog suspiciously recalled emails by Enterprise Ireland, errors, fabricated quotes, deleted/shredded evidence by IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, Irish lawyer inappropriate responses to my requests for a legal opinion on my case, inconsistencies etc. So much so that it’s difficult for one not to believe that there is a cover-up.
My final Report (and subsequent one pager) details additional efforts after my update Report as there were still some outstanding items to be addressed. Fortuitously, by addressing these items, I was able to focus proof of my case on just one audit document (I also proved fraud on the part of Chartered Accountants Ireland (ICAI)). I therefore requested a copy of the internal audit plan from the appropriate organizations/bodies (inc. PwC, ICAI) and was refused. Instead, I received a fraudulent copy of the audit plan presentations (which I determined when lodging a complaint to the ODCE – see (H) under New developments post) from the NPRF/NTMA. The audit plan document would prove the scope of PwC’s internal audit work on behalf of the NPRF/NTMA which both PwC and ICAI claim was outside the allegations I made against the Irish Government (NPRF/NTMA).
Therefore, my case before the High Court of Ireland sought to have this audit plan document released as I believed it would prove to the contrary. It was necessary for me to take this final step since I had whittled down proof of my case to just one audit plan document. But now I had to prove my case. Did I? Please let me know if I didn’t. I had to prove that the internal audit plan existed because in order to deny me access to the plan I was told by the NPRF/NTMA and the Information Commissioner that it did not.
Note – Before appealing to the Irish High Court, I had to first appeal to the Information Commissioner for a copy of the internal audit plan, which if unsuccessful could then be appealed to the High Court. After I lodged an appeal with the Information Commissioner, I received an acceptance letter from him on 20 November 2019 which began, “I am writing to tell you that the Information Commissioner has accepted your application dated 18 November 2019 for a review of the decision of the National Treasury Management Agency on your request for access to records, referenced above.”
The letter additionally states in part, “An investigating officer will be assigned to your case and will be in touch with you if necessary.”
It continues, “Under the FOI Act, the Commissioner should be able to decide within four months of receiving a request for review. However, this can vary depending on how complex the issues are, the volume of records involved and the number of cases being examined.”
The point I’m making is that I received a decision from the Information Commissioner on my appeal about two months later, and I was not asked for further information from the investigating officer during this time.
So, clearly the Information Commissioner had plenty of time to review my complaint and clearly understood my case. I want to make this point as a backdrop to the Information Commissioner’s defense during my hearing as his counsel acted somewhat confused as to the intention of my affidavit even though my appeal to the High Court was based on the Information Commissioner’s refusal to grant my request, and the directions given to me by the Information Commissioner (in his decision) on my right to appeal to the High Court.
This case study includes all documents/audio pertaining to my High Court hearing (2022) which you can follow as if you were present in the court room yourself.
I present my case study in the following order:
1. Direct experiences/communications with the High Court, Information Commissioner and others related to my hearing
2. Transcripts (written and audio)
3. Book of Pleadings and Book of Authorities – Note: some pages in Book of Pleadings are cut off. I provide them in correct format; p.268-273 (p.401-405 is same and not cut off); p.295-299; p.304-307; p.311
4. Judge’s ruling
5. My rebuttal to judge’s ruling (aka short submissions on the form of the order including costs per High Court listing)
6. Some final thoughts…
Note – Within the article above, ‘Some final thoughts…’, I suggest the establishment of an independent lay litigant organization. Perhaps the Wall Street Journal article – link below – might give some insight into how to raise funds for its establishment. In this context I made a comment on the WSJ article in the comments section of the article, but it took six hours to publish it which I found unusual. I had in the meantime duplicated the comment. I therefore added and ‘Edit’ note to the first/original comment as follows: Edit – this comment was made at approx. 9:40am on 11/25. It was approved/published at 3:58pm after I had contacted WSJ multiple times during the day asking why the delay, and was published/slotted in at original time. I made same comment an hour later but both were published at 3:58pm.
Point being you can miss out on a lot of viewership over six hours.
Keep Foreign Cash Out of U.S. Courts – WSJ
Instructions on how to follow my High Court hearing?
You can play the audio transcript while following it with the written version (2). It’s important to follow both at the same time as the written transcript sometimes misinterprets words or excludes them.
These transcripts will reference the Book of Pleadings and Book of Authorities which you should have open at the same time (3).
I would suggest you follow the transcripts and form your own opinion first before viewing the judge’s ruling (4)
Note – while following the transcripts, try to determine what my point of law is, that is, that section of the statute (FOI Act 2014) I applied to the facts of my case, and then compare it to the judge’s ruling. Due to the limited, if any, case law upon which I could rely, my case/appeal was predominately reliant upon statutory interpretation/judicial precedent. The Section of the statute that applied is clear and straightforward but was ignored by the judge. Statutes take precedence over case law (judicial decisions). Statutes provide greater certainty of the law than do judicial precedents. If no past cases with similar circumstances exist, a new decision is made, which would then become a precedent for a future similar case. If no statute law applies to cover a particular situation, common law will apply; however, statute law always overrides common law. Source – legalknowledgebase.com).
After reading the judge’s ruling, you should then read my rebuttal (5) (pay particular attention to the 4th paragraph – pages 1 & 2 – under the first heading ‘Recap of My Argument’).
I have also included my direct experiences/communications with the High Court, Information Commissioner and others (1) which I suggest you could read first just to whet your appetite as it gives the sequence of events beginning a week before my hearing, although it’s a bit lengthy and also in order to avoid being influenced by it before you form your own opinion on the judge’s decision by first following steps (2) to (5) above then you might want to leave reading it until after you have read my rebuttal (5). I believe these direct experiences/communications corroborate my rebuttal.
Finally, I have included some final thoughts (6) on the dangers of a legal and judicial systems that is compromised which you can read last after you’ve followed steps (1)-(5) above.
Update 11/11/2022 – 11/14/2022
The Irish Government oversight body, SIPO, stated on Thursday, November 9th, 2022, nine days after I published my case study (a case in which SIPO played a central role or lack thereof) that it would not be investigating the incoming Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, as such an investigation is not within its remit. I repeat (you didn’t misread), the body that is tasked with overseeing the Irish Government and its members said the issue was not within its remit! (Something you’ll frequently hear oversight bodies and Irish Government departments and agencies claim in my Reports).
Sipo says it has ‘no role’ in deciding if Leo Varadkar was wrong to leak GP contract – Independent.ie
You’ll notice similarities between the ruse SIPO uses in Varadkar’s case and that which they use in my case (two unrelated cases). They always find an excuse not to do an investigation (I mention this in my Reports) because if they did do one, they would have no other choice but to find him guilty of unethical behavior (I wonder can recusing yourself from a case be an abuse i.e., you usually recuse yourself if there’s a conflict of interest but was there an actual conflict of interest here? And if someone recuses themselves, don’t they have to be replaced?).
In my case, I had to first prove my case before SIPO would investigate it which seems completely ridiculous to me. Therefore, they could refuse to investigate any case they wanted to. You can follow the merry-go-round SIPO put me through in my Reports.
And I remember questioning an auditing oversight body I had asked to investigate my case after they told me that before they could do an assessment of my case, they first had to wait until after another independent auditing oversight body I had also asked to investigate my case had made its decision on whether to investigate. This of course is a load of codswallop. SIPO should not have “suspended its investigation of the complaint until the DPP had made its decision.” in the case of varadkar as both SIPO and the DPP are meant to act fairly and independently.
In fact, as I was repeatedly told in my attempts to have my case investigated by certain oversight bodies, they first do an assessment (whatever the hell that means) of a case before they decide to investigate it. This is part of the ruse because you’re subsequently told that your case is not going to be investigated.
But what’s even more unusual is that the Times (Britain’s oldest national daily newspaper, and its sister title The Sunday Times) stated back in 2020 in one of its articles that Geraldine Feeney “…a former senator appointed to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo), will not be allowed to recuse herself from its decision on whether to investigate Leo Varadkar’s leak of a document to an organisation that once employed her as its lobbyist.”
And yet she recently (Aug. 2022) recused herself on the grounds of a potential perception (there’s one for the books!) of a conflict of interest. See link below (I have a screen shot of it also in case it’s deleted).
Ger Feeney can’t avoid Sipo’s decision on Leo Varadkar leak | Ireland | The Sunday Times (thetimes.co.uk)
Nothing changes in Ireland. Did anyone really believe that an incoming Irish Prime Minister was going to be held accountable by the Gardai (police), DPP, SIPO or any of the other oversight bodies also detailed in my Reports. I didn’t – I was just waiting to hear the outcome so that I could add it as an update to my case study to corroborate the allegations I made against the Irish Government.
Some of you may not see the implications of SIPO’s decision in Varadkar’s case but as I mentioned in my final Report (see p. 11):
“The importance of holding the Irish Government accountable for at least ethical violations is critical to a
healthy justice system. The reason I say this is because accountability for ethical violations leads to the making of laws (at least according to my US insurance Continuing Ed class). This is a critical point. And this is the trick the Irish Government uses (via SIPO). By denying an ethical violation has occurred, there’s no subsequent law made to deter the violation/crime from occurring over and over again.”
I add this note based on recent media coverage on the Irish Court/judiciary system, and because most of my Updates since my Case Study was published relate to Ireland’s oversight bodies (Non court) I thought it also important to show that my case study – just like my Reports had already accurately exposed unethical practices within the Irish Government and its oversight bodies before the debacles referred to in my updates above and below were uncovered – had already accurately exposed unethical practices within the Irish judiciary before the report (OECD) upon which media coverage was based was even published.
The OECD was informed via email of the publication of my Case Study over two months before it published its report, and the OECD had already received my Reports years before when they were published.
Note – Just to be clear, my Case Study (hearing at the Irish High Court) is based on the four Reports I had written earlier over a period spanning about five to six years. My overall efforts at trying to hold the Irish Government accountable spans about eight years.
The report by the OECD recently published, including in the Irish media, on the Irish courts/judiciary system details how many important issues need to be addressed in order to bring Ireland in line with other countries with well-functioning judicial systems. See link below – you can click on ‘Read online’ version if easier.
Modernising Staffing and Court Management Practices in Ireland: Towards a More Responsive and Resilient Justice System | en | OECD
While the report makes many recommendations across a wide range of issues including a shortage of judges, case management, IT/data collection etc., when you read it fully (see **) it’s clear to me that the overriding purpose of these recommendations is towards an Irish judicial system that is “fairness” and “accessible” (although accessibility is clearer in the report) to all Irish citizens as opposed to just more efficient.
That is, the word “effectiveness” is also referred to in the report which is much broader in scope and includes efficiency and fairness. I referred to both of these critical aspects of Ireland’s judicial system, fairness and accessibility, in my case study (however I use the words “application” and “facilitation” respectively on the first page of my ‘Some final thoughts…‘ article) which as mentioned above was published over two months before the OECD report was published. Therefore, my case study is very much on point.
** Under 2.1, ‘State of the Irish courts and judiciary in Ireland’ for example, it states, “Judicial efficiency is closely associated with accessibility to judicial services and the certainty of judicial decisions, raising people’s trust (OECD, 2018). The judicial system is complex and its effectiveness comprises many facets, including efficiency, fairness, and the quality of decisions.”
(Incidentally, 2.1 also states, “The judicial system is also found to be significantly important for Foreign Direct Investment inflows.” I referred to this in same case study article above, p. 3, Some final thoughts…, when giving an example of how a compromised judicial system can affect investors.
But fairness does not result from just procedural/process and efficiency changes. We have to have the highest standard of judges. The OECD report does allude to this in places (1.1.3) when discussing human resources/shortage of judges:
- Explore the possibility to engage temporary, part-time and retired judges to better reflect the current needs of the judicial work environment and provide flexibility to address temporary resource needs, while ensuring appropriate safeguards to protect judicial independence and impartiality.
Therefore, the OEDC report generally acknowledges that judges can be compromised independent of an efficient system.
I guess, legally, the OECD and media cannot directly state that some Irish judges are compromised and biased towards the Irish Government.
While the OECD report refers to many issues with Ireland’s judicial system, these can’t be used as an excuse for a judge’s unfair ruling i.e., he/she lacked sufficient resources. Judges know the law, that’s why they’re judges, and while it would be hard enough to argue that a judge’s ruling could be rendered inaccurate because of an unusually high case load, the report refers to a backlog of cases meaning that judges were likely dealing with at most a marginal increase per judge in case load, otherwise there would be no backlog.
Point being the judge’s ruling in my case was a clear miscarriage of justice. Errors I’m sure can be made by judges and unfairness can result from a less efficient judicial system no doubt but certainly not to an extent including the blatant ignoring of a lay litigant’s point of law and the decision by a judge not to address a lay litigant’s submission per the judge’s own order on the form of the order (my second hearing).
It’s interesting to also note that recommendations in the report extend to the fair treatment of lay litigants (see 1.6). It’s as if they’re taking a leaf straight out of my own lay litigant experience as outlined in my case study/affidavits and my independent lay litigant organization idea mentioned on p. 5 of same case study article above, Some final thoughts…, and probably a recognition by the OECD that if the judiciary doesn’t implement it, somebody else will.
2.1 continues, “Recognising that “an independent, impartial, and efficient judiciary and courts system is critical to our democracy”, and recognising the need to modernise the court system to better meet the challenges of a changing world and the needs of court users, several reform areas were outlined,…”
This statement seems to tie impartiality and independence only to technical aspects like case management, improved efficiencies, IT etc.
My case study makes the distinction between inadvertent unfairness on the part of a judge as a result of in general an inefficient system and ‘advertent’ unfairness where a compromised judge purposefully delivers an unfair ruling/decision on a case usually, in Ireland’s case, for the benefit of the Irish Government or its close associates.
But should these new recommendations limit the ability of Irish judges from becoming compromised by acting as a deterrent, then this is a good thing and diplomatically addresses advertent unfairness without actually calling anyone out thereby achieving the same end. But will they? As mentioned below in Update 1/27/2023, according to the OECD:
“11/10/2016 – Ireland still needs to make substantial progress on key recommendations issued three times since March 2007 by the OECD Working Group on Bribery with regard to improving its domestic criminal law as it applies to bribery by Irish individuals and companies in their international business transactions.”
We can’t ever accept that unfairness in the rulings our judges deliver on cases, particularly cases that try to hold the Irish Government accountable, are only a result of inefficiencies in the system, otherwise we’re leaving the judicial system open to abuse by the government who can take advantage of this and carry out their crimes and coverups knowing that they can afterwards claim a resource issue like they always do.
And this I believe is why the Irish Government indefinitely delays the implementation of OECD type recommendations. Why change it if we can get away with not changing it and there’s no public outcry.
Watchdog ignored objections of top officials to reject Varadkar leak inquiry – The Irish Times
Update 01/12/2023 – 01/16/2023
Damien English Fine Gael minister resigns: English sends letter of resignation to Taoiseach over planning application – Independent.ie
The article begins, “Junior Fine Gael minister resigns after admitting to a failure to properly declare a property interest in 2008”
It continues, “Mr English said he informed the Taoiseach on Wednesday night of his decision to resign as a Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.”
and, “Mr English’s resignation follows a story published by news website The Ditch on Wednesday…”
FG minister hasn’t declared ownership of property (ontheditch.com)
This cheat and liar had to resign even though his cheating and lying occurred back in 2008. In my case, which occurred more recently back in 2010/2011, nobody had to resign, and my case relates to the theft of tens of millions of dollars, possibly even hundreds of millions (sorry, I don’t usually like to use the words cheat and liar but no more mincing words, like our ministers and Irish media do, when it comes to the actions of statesmen and women who hold high office. When they do something good, they praise themselves to no end, and when they do something bad, they praise themselves to no end!).
And this is the same Department that oversees Enterprise Ireland, the agency at the center of my Reports on the mismanagement of Irish Government Funds. Its name has changed since the publication of my Reports from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI). The Irish Government likes to change the names of its departments and agencies from time to time for some peculiar reason.
You can only laugh at all the thanks Mr. English gives in the article. You’d think he had just won an Oscar.
The article states, “Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he does not think Meath TD Damien English should resign his Dáil seat.”
Micheál Martin is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who is serving as Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence since December 2022. He served as Taoiseach from 2020 to 2022 and has been Leader of Fianna Fáil since January 2011. Source – Wikipedia
What a viewpoint to have by a former Prime Minister of Ireland. Perhaps Martin should give him an award. This is why corruption never ends in the Irish Government when this type of attitude comes from the top down.
And you can’t rely on SIPO to do an investigation. They’ll just go down to the local pub where they do all their drinking…I mean work…trying to figure out ways to get these cheats off the hook like they did with Varadkar and others. I guess since SIPO is now being more closely scrutinized, they’ll be putting on a good act and will limit their visits to the pub.
Note (2/17/2023) – Peter Tyndall resigned (Dec. 2021) as Ombudsman and Information Commissioner just before my Irish High Court hearing in February 2022. He was reappointed as Ireland’s Ombudsman and Information Commissioner for a second six-year term-of-office on 3 December 2019. He was first appointed to the roles in December 2013. Just like the ‘convenient’ retirement of the Registrar before my hearing (second one in April 2022) on the issue of the form of the Order and costs (see Case Study above, link 1. Direct experiences/communications), it seems the Information Commissioner ran for the hills less than two months before my first hearing (Feb. 2022) and only two years into his six-year term. If this doesn’t raise red flags, I don’t know what does.
But maybe some of the recommendations in my Reports are now being implemented, and this is the beginnings of positive change within the Irish Government. My update (second) Report published back in 2018 states, (p.10 last paragraph and p.11 first two paragraphs),
“But perhaps there is a way to trace these possible personal benefits. There have been more than a few cases of Irish Government officials not declaring business interests (i.e. omitting required disclosures, perhaps because they knew that these interests may be traced back to taxpayer funding they’ve awarded to their friends).”
Another article, this time in the Belfast Telegraph begins, “Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has said the resignation of Damien English underlines the need for reform of ethics in public office.”
Damien English resignation ‘shows need for reform of ethics in public office’ – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
It continues, “Speaking in Cork, Mr McGrath said the Government will bring forward legislation this year to give more powers to the ethics watchdog, the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo).”
First, the Information Commissioner (who is also the Ombudsman and a member of SIPO) already has “significant powers” according to his website, which I proved at my recent Irish High Court hearing. See written transcript further above under Case Study section, p.16.
Reference to these “significant powers” was removed by the Information Commissioner from his website sometime in 2017, after my final communication with him before publishing my update Report. See update (second) Report, p.24.
And second, ethics doesn’t need to be modernized, its practice is no different today than it was twenty years ago.
But this is the ruse the Irish Government uses by pretending that the problem is the legislation when in fact the Information Commissioner refuses to use the significant powers he already has under the 2014 FOI Act (Sections 23 and 45). For example, during my hearing, I pointed out to the judge that I could only find reference to Section 45 of the 2014 FOI Act in one of the 15/16 cases (case law) I looked through before my hearing, and in this case Section 45(6) was used in favor of the Irish Government and not in the public interest. See written transcript further above under Case Study section, p.45.
Note (01/27/2023) – I mistakenly had SIPO in place of the Information Commissioner in the four paragraphs immediately above but they can be used interchangeably to some extent as the Information Commissioner is also the Ombudsman and an integral part of SIPO, and SIPO has to adhere to the same FOI Act 2014 as the Information Commissioner. Anyhow, I just wanted to give an example here of a closely related body to SIPO and make the point that none of these Irish Government oversight bodies use the powers they already have to hold the Irish Government accountable.
The article states, “The Oireachtas does need to take this issue seriously and I can assure people that the Government will lead on this issue on the back of the comprehensive report that has now been completed.”
Yeah, right! In a statement by the OECD working group on bribery back in 2016, it said in part:
“11/10/2016 – Ireland still needs to make substantial progress on key recommendations issued three times since March 2007 by the OECD Working Group on Bribery with regard to improving its domestic criminal law as it applies to bribery by Irish individuals and companies in their international business transactions. As a party to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, Ireland is subject to systematic monitoring by the Working Group on how well it implements the requirements of the Convention. The Working Group comprises the 41 parties to the Convention.
In December 2013, the Working Group urged Ireland to make several changes to its domestic criminal law without delay to rectify three major weaknesses in how foreign bribery is addressed. Ireland is subject to enhanced reporting to the Working Group on account of its failure to address these weaknesses.”
Incidentally, the English case demonstrates how ridiculous the complaints processes of accountancy oversight bodies are in that based on my response to ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), while ACCA likely would not have jurisdiction over a case such as the English one, this body would be unable to investigate a case that occurred back in 2008 over which it has jurisdiction as it would be outside the conditions of its complaints process (other bodies such as Chartered Accountants Ireland etc. have similar conditions). See update (second) Report, p. 140, Exhibit 19, eleventh page point 12 and third page third paragraph.
Since accountancy oversight bodies write their own conditions, and are written by professionals with knowledge and experience of the time ranges between when crimes are committed and when they are discovered, it’s suspicious that they would seriously limit the time available to lodge a complaint against someone or firm over which they do have jurisdiction.
Update 01/17/2023 – 01/19/2023
Finally, as for the Paschal Donohoe debacle (the third in recent months), the only reason a seasoned politician, with the resources of the Irish Government behind him, fails to register something with SIPO (failed to declare the payment in his election expenses) is because he’s hiding something. The reason is obviously behind the statement in the article, “Mr. Stone was appointed as chairman of a board seeking to revive Dublin’s North East Inner City in 2017, after being recommended by Mr Donohoe for the unpaid, voluntary role. He was also appointed as a board member of the Land Development Agency by former minister for housing Eoghan Murphy in 2019.”
Further undisclosed donations were revealed in the Irish Times a day later.
But not to worry Paschal old boy, SIPO will give you a slap on the wrist (if even that!) just to give the impression that it’s doing its job.
Note – The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is also addressed in my Reports and the merry-go-round they put you through whenever you seek an investigation relating to the mismanagement of Irish Government funds. Paschal was both Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform AND Minister for Finance at the same time (for three years). And Paschal’s Department oversees SIPO, and he is without doubt very familiar with “We have a whole series of recommendations going back to various tribunals of inquiry, and we have annual recommendations being made by Sipo itself as a body and so the Oireachtas does need to take this seriously.”
The pretend game continues…
Sinn Féin faces Sipo investigation over spending on election database – The Irish Times
There seems to be no end to these debacles in the Irish Government, but it’s good that the pressure is finally being put on SIPO to do its job. I still don’t trust this body as far as I can throw it, but by having more cases to refer to, it may lead to better laws on the books in future assuming SIPO does its job ethically. I refer you to my own High Court hearing where the judge avoided setting precedent and gave a bogus ruling by ignoring my point of law and premising his ruling on very limited case law that had no bearing on my point of law.
Perhaps if SIPO had ruled an ethical violation against the Irish Government in my case as it should have done, and this ethical violation was subsequently enshrined in law/statute as it should have been, it might prevent judges from making such bogus rulings in similar cases brought before the courts in future.
I suppose to put it simply in my case, neither SIPO set precedent on the front end (statute) nor the judge set it on the back end (case law). That’s a pretty broken and corrupt system!
We have to continue bringing more and more cases to SIPO that reflect the never ending lying and cheating that goes on in the Irish Government. We’re not even close to that level yet. There is so much more to reveal about the Irish Government in terms of its lying and cheating, and SIPO better stop covering up for its members.
My experience with SIPO is that it uses the law to avoid doing investigations or mostly rule against ethical violations on the part of Irish Government members, which seems contradictory. Generally, laws are rules and regulations enforced by authorities while ethics are morals and principles we believe hold us to the highest standards of practice. Violations of ethics do not result in punishments unlike laws can. But as stated above under Update 11/11/2022 – 11/14/2022, ethical violations lead to the creation of laws, thus improving our legal and judicial system ultimately to reflect the highest ethical standards.
Thus, if SIPO is making a determination of an ethical violation, then it can’t use the law to constrain its decision because the ethical violation is not yet enshrined in law.
Note (2/18/2023) – It’s not very reassuring that the two traditionally dominant parties of southern Irish politics since the Irish Civil War, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, have the same level of ethics as Sinn Fein, the new kid on the block in terms of the election of Caoimhghin O Caolain to the Dáil in 1997, the first person under the “Sinn Féin” banner to be elected to Leinster House since 1957, and the first since 1922 to take their seat. Who’s worse here?
Final Update 2/10/2023
I’ll round out my updates, having come full circle now with this recent announcement, by informing you that it was announced yesterday (2/9/2023) that one of the biggest shysters in Irish political life, Bertie Ahern, was being welcomed back into the Fianna Fail party after over ten years (the heat has died down it seems!), with a view to being nominated by the party for President of Ireland in 2025…Lord Jesus give us all strength!
Good ol’ Bertie is a Charlie Haughey protege, Charlie himself being the biggest shyster ever in Irish politics. Leo Varadkar, another shyster, although not yet as big, who wasn’t held accountable by SIPO recently, and who back in the day called Bertie things that make my comments in my updates here and above sound tame, stated in part, “You know, I think that was at a particular point in time.”
Isn’t that just lovely how one can change their tune when it suits them. Yes, ten years is certainly time enough to rehabilitate ol’ Bertie…NOT!
Leo is weak and ineffectual. He times his crying for the camera probably to try to give the impression that he has a deeper sense of compassion, a trick any old snake oil salesman can play but usually successfully. He wasn’t even man enough to provide me with a reply to an email of mine to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform who referred it to him for a direct reply. I guess he took some earlier comments of mine about him personally. At least Paschal Donohoe was professional enough to reply.
Weak Leo continues, “And if you look at the totality of Bertie Ahern’s career, let’s not forget that he was one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, and that’s something that we’re going to recognise in a few months’ time, and I don’t think anyone can diminish the role that he played.”
Yes, if you have any ethics at all and look at the totality of Bertie’s shysterism, you wouldn’t allow him within an ass’s roar of anything that involves the public trust. So, now we’re inviting ‘cute hoors’ we thought we’d gotten rid of back into the fold? Wrong person, wrong time.
I was surprised to see former junior minister Conor Lenihan, the minister at the center of my case, being quoted by the Irish Times. Has the Irish Times got nobody better than these people to quote? To think that we have no other good Irish men and women coming up the ranks in Irish politics who could revitalize the party is mindboggling, and a clear message that the old corrupt guard is still very much in control (Bertie certainly still has the dirty goods on the ‘right’ people!) of things including the limiting of good honest candidates in important positions within the party.
Bertie Ahern’s evidence to Mahon tribunal was ‘at a particular point in time’, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says – The Irish Times
The Irish Sun states:
Fianna Fail have confirmed that former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has rejoined the party after leaving almost 10 years ago in the wake of the Mahon Tribunal.
The tribunal found that the former Taoiseach had been “untruthful” about how he received large amounts of money from Fianna Fail supporters when he was Finance Minister.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously compared Bertie Ahern to gangster John Gilligan over his defence during the Mahon Tribunal.
However, the Fine Gael leader softened his position on Bertie Ahern and claimed his comments were made at “a particular point in time”.
Fianna Fail minister in major Bertie Ahern prediction and Leo Varadkar rows back on Gilligan comments after party move | The Irish Sun (thesun.ie)
Mahon Tribunal – The tribunal ran from November 1997 to March 2012 and was the longest running and most expensive public inquiry held in the Republic of Ireland, with costs forecast to reach between €250 million and €300 million. Public hearings concluded in September 2008, and following several delays due to legal challenges, the tribunal began preparing its final report. It published four interim reports, and the final report was published on 22 March 2012. On 2 April 2008, then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern resigned due to continuing controversy over the payments. Source – Wikipedia
None of this of course is politics and let’s not allow a bunch of shysters try and convince us that it is…let’s not tarnish the true meaning of the word politics. This is all about a continuation of Irish Government corruption and the Mismanagement of Irish Government Funds.
Note (2/20/2023) – But it goes even further than this. In a November 2021 Opportunity Ireland article (see ‘New developments’ post link below, point (H)) that detailed my complaints (related to my High Court case) to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) and its responses/decision, it states in part, “At the risk of sounding too forward, we now sincerely believe that such behavior/culture is arguably a psychiatric condition, that has even been assimilated into statute in terms of protection of corruption…We literally have adults in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and upwards acting out behaviors (perpetrators of cover ups, cheating, stealing, lying etc.) that should have been addressed and gotten out of their systems as adolescents. While there’s never an excuse to behave this way at any age, it certainly is a psychiatric condition when you behave like this outside of adolescence.”
contd. The ODCE was meant to change to the Corporate Enforcement Authority (surprise surprise…another Irish Government body name change!) before my High Court hearing (Feb. 2022), but didn’t officially change until July 2022, two to three months after my case was struck out. My complaints to the ODCE (Sept. 2021) were subsequently part of my High Court affidavit and I had informed (Aug. 2021) the Director of the ODCE, Mr. Drennan, before I submitted them to him that I had hoped an ODCE ruling might strengthen my case at my hearing were it to corroborate the allegations at the center of it. It didn’t!
contd. Mr. Drennan is now running this ‘new’ corporate oversight ‘front’, the CEA, which no doubt has less corporate enforcement authority than it had as the ODCE because I guarantee you, as night follows day, there will be no increase in corporate or government accountability in Ireland, and especially of larger accountancy firms (the Irish Government doesn’t want any increase, and the CEA’s purpose is just to add loop holes missed when the ODCE was first established – for example, see contradictory statements from ODCE in its reply to me on October 12, 2021 and its final reply to me on November 17, 2021 – go to ‘New developments’ post immediately below, point (H), ‘Complaints to ODCE’ link, Attachment A under ‘Third‘, and ‘Final reply from ODCE’ link just beneath the ‘Complaints to ODCE’ link in point (H). You will see that the ODCE position changes in its Oct. 12 letter to me from a Recognized Accountancy Body being able to refer an auditing firm (PwC) to the ODCE in a certain case to the regulation of auditing firms (PwC) not being a matter of company law and therefore outside the remit of the ODCE in its Nov. 17 letter).
New developments (updated every so often) after my Reports published – Law (Solicitors) Society of Ireland no longer has the authority to handle complaints against Irish lawyers / My High Court case against the Irish Government / PwC, Deloitte, and their connections with US intelligence agencies / Did online comments (Irish Times) put pressure on the NTMA? / Paper on “Confronting Professional Insulation and Professional Authority in the ICAI” / Emails to Central Bank of Ireland re. NTMA’s possible role in Davy bond scandal based on NTMA’s involvement in my case, and more… | Failte32 connecting the Irish in NYC
contd. The above article concludes:
“Finally, we hope we have further convinced the international community of how organizations like the ODCE are absolutely meaningless and as compromised as all other Irish oversight bodies we have reached out to. Another case of accountability denied in Ireland by the use of word play in the formal communications of Irish Government agencies in order to avoid having to do an investigation. The Irish Government has treated the Irish people in general in a disrespectful manner for many decades, repeatedly lying to them and covering up for the crimes of their members, and the ODCE certainly seems to be continuing to facilitate this type of behavior/culture. According to the article (link) below, the Irish Government has even: “Ireland, for its own benefit, has robbed poor working people around the world of tens of trillions of dollars. Huge quantities.”
i.e. “around the world”!”
Excuse some sarcasm in this final update but I earned it. Now hopefully I can get back to my life…the end!