Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Curious Case Of A Mobile Licence.

Yesterday we saw Ireland's image as a place to do business go further down the drain with the unexpected reporting of The Moriarty Tribunal. Damming in its content, the tribunal found Former Fine Gael Minister Mick Lowry received nearly £900,000 from Denis O Brien through a series of transactions carried out through second parties using various offshore bank accounts.
It must be nice to have a bank account...offshore!
O'Brien won a mobile licence from the then Fine Gael led government, of which, Lowry was Minister for Communication. O' Brien went on to sell the Esat Company, which benefited from the issuing of the licence, to BT for over £2 billion, personally gaining to the tune of almost €250 million.
O' Brien went on to make a fortune dealing in the telecoms industry in the Caribbean and the South Pacific and is worth over €2.2 billion. The 'colourful' Lowry, no stranger to controversy, topped the poll in the recent general election in his Tippeary North constituency. Previously in trouble for allowing Ben Dunne to pay for an extension to his home, Lowry was one of the Independents who held the last government to random in return for supporting their austerity measures on the people of Ireland.
What will happen? Knowing good old Ireland, not a whole lot might be a good bet. Tribunals are one thing, criminal law another.
Fine Gael now find their honeymoon period in office over, after the report suggested donations were made to them on behalf of O'Brien, some of which they attempted to bury. It's just another stain on the Irish political system.

Watching in to the Dáil at Mickey Martin using the platform to ask some awkward questions to new Taoiseach Enda Kenny was comical. I'm afraid Micháel needs to get his own parties house in order after bankrupting this country before he can lecture anyone on ethics. New beginnings does not mean we can ever forget. Until people are held culpable and in proper terms, the past remains part of this economic nightmare.

The episode further stains those held in the high regard in Irish society. Top politicians, Business people and solicitors have slowly turned Ireland into a mecca for those who deal in corruption within the shady corridors of power of the Emerald Isle.

Director of Corporate Enforcement, Paul Appleby, revealed his office has sent another file about Anglo Irish Bank to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The latest file concerns loans made by the bank to 10 of its customers to buy Seán Quinn's Anglo shares in 2008 which helped prop up Anglo's share price. The course of justice in white-collar crime in Ireland runs slow. No real deterrent has ever been set in this country when it comes to corporate crime or corruption. A few months here and there in jail is never going to change a culture of winks and nods as a desirable way to do business.
I wish I had the money to do a documentary surrounding the ins and outs of all that has gone on here over the past 25 years. I'd get it done for 10k. But I could never see the film board stumping up the money for that. Probably not part of their re-mit in enhancing the image of the country in positive ways whenever they can. And to cheap for them also, I imagine.

There's never been change in denial.

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