Reaction to Moriarty tribunal report

 

Madam, – Interesting, and not a little ironic, to hear Micheál Martin pontificate regarding collective Cabinet responsibility in relation to Michael Lowry and the awarding of the telephone licence to Denis O’Brien. Mr Martin further opines that Mr Lowry should consider his position. Indeed he should, the Soldiers of Destiny could do with another TD. – Is mise,

TONY MARGIOTTA,

Fairyhouse Lodge,

Ratoath,

Co Meath.

Madam, – The media frenzy and what it is generating reminds me of the movie Twelve Angry Menand the book To Kill a Mockingbird.The political and media piranhas have smelled their victims’ blood and in the low moral ground where they play out their pretensions, the actors in this dreary drama are set to play their pretentious parts! At stake is one of life’s most important psychological and emotional conditions: reputations.

In Twelve Angry Menthe so-called “evidence” was hearsay, innuendo and prejudicial malicious gossip. It took one man’s love of justice to convince his biased peers of the accuseds’ innocence.

After the tribunal’s 14 years of forensic foraging and a bill of approximately €250,000,000, Denis O’Brien has admirably stated his constitutional right under Article 40 to a good name.

We shall soon all witness how much as a nation we love justice or gossip! Having lived here most of my life I won’t hold my breath. – Yours, etc,

JOHN J MAY,

Tymon Lawn,

Old Bawn,

Tallaght,

Dublin 24.

Madam, – First, it must be said that the service provided by the Esat consortium complied fully with the conditions of its licence. No payments passed between the applicant and the State and the selection of another applicant would not have saved the taxpayer a cent.

Any rational disinterested adult can draw the necessary conclusions from Mr Justice Moriarty’s final report. Mr Lowry is an elected representative who has lied to Dáil Éireann in the past and his protestations are not worth the ink it takes to reproduce them. It is depressing to see the national media timidly allowing the impression of controversy to be created by interested parties. While the judicial conspiracy theory advanced by Messrs Lowry and O’Brien might prosper in the beleaguered democracies of the Caribbean, it should be laughed off the stage in this Republic.

The real issue here is how an extraordinarily valuable national asset came to be given away gift-wrapped by the government of the day. Many members of the current Government were involved in that decision. The unwillingness of the current Government to address this aspect and to question afresh how the payment-free “beauty contest” approach was adopted is unacceptable.

The Taoiseach has not had time to properly read or digest the report, yet journalists who have to work for a living have done so without the enormous resources and supportive bureaucracy the Taoiseach enjoys. The odour of obfuscation and delay wafts afresh over Government Buildings. This may be familiar, but it still stinks. Reform of the political system is easily within this Government’s grasp. It can start with itself. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL DEASY,

The Spires,

Innishannon,

Co Cork.

Madam, – Are we all gone mad? What is the point in having tribunals if all we, the electorate do, is vote the “villains” into power again, with the added bonus of telling all and sundry “Sure he/she has done great things locally for us”. On this occasion I presume the people of North Tipperary will pick up the bill of the Moriarty tribunal, thereby doing “Great things for the rest of us”. We deserve to be €100 billion in hock to the IMF, etc. – Yours, etc,

KEN BUGGY,

Ballyduff Upper,

Co Waterford.

Madam, – So Fine Gael and Labour are having their skeletons brought out of the cupboard – and how meaty they look.

Tribunal, money, a convenient case of amnesia or blindness as accusations flow about politicians and the business elite go about filling their own pockets. Meanwhile the ordinary people pick up the tab of subsidies, court costs, Garda inquiries, etc.

Nothing has changed. New government but the same dirt, corruption and self-gratification – and the people are lied to again. The standards will never be raised – we need a clean sweep. – Yours, etc,

JOHN BROWN,

Clonmany,

Co Donegal.

Madam, – I don’t really care about the Moriarty tribunal – it has no legal teeth after how many millions? Justice delayed is justice denied.

What is the point of all these tribunals if they have no legal standing? The Law Library is happy, but who else? It’s a farce.

The only way we can eradicate such carry-on is to ban all political donations – and that includes a red cent. – Yours, etc,

DIANA WHITE,

Sion Road,

Glenageary,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – In today’s leading article you say, “An effective and speedy method must be available to investigate allegations of corruption”. It is available, it’s called the police. – Yours, etc,

GERALD KELLY,

Bloomfield Avenue,

Dublin 8.

Madam, – Micheál Martin asserted that the Esat contract was “the most lucrative ever awarded by the State”.

I would suggest that the contract with Shell in Co Mayo is far more lucrative for Shell, and far less beneficial to Ireland. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS O’MEAGAIR,

Belview Road,

Mullingar,

Co Westmeath.

Madam, – With the release of the Moriarty tribunal report and recent activities in Libya, perhaps it is time to ask the UN for a no-fly zone over North Tipperary.

Sanctions could also be imposed until its “leader” goes into exile. – Yours, etc,

JER HAYES,

Melville Court,

Cityside,

Finglas,

Dublin 11.

Madam, – While much is being made of the fact that 14,104 people  in North Tipperary gave their first preference vote  to Michael Lowry in the recent election, I am taking comfort from the fact that on the same day in the same constituency 34,169 people gave their first preference vote to other candidates. – Yours, etc,

VALERIE CANNON,

Fortfield Park,

Terenure,

Dublin 6W.

Madam, – Bravely admitting her peccadillo, Sarah Carey (Opinion, March 24th) has drawn attention to the wider issue of corporate political donations, writing, “It would be better if they were completely banned”. Perhaps this tribunal report will encourage the new Government to ban corporate donations (including trade union donations), as the Green Party tried to do in the last government. – Yours, etc,

OSSIAN SMYTH,

Montpelier Place,

Monkstown,

Co Dublin.

Madam, – Sarah Carey’s performance on Prime Timeof Tuesday March 22nd was breathtakingly arrogant. She defended the reputation of Denis O’Brien while dismissing the seriousness of leaking information from the Moriarty tribunal and lying about it.

While she has never made any secret of her support for Fine Gael, she has now shown herself to be a lackey for both Fine Gael and Denis O’Brien.

This is the same Sarah Carey who assured us in The Irish Timesof February 3rd, 2011 that we have a functioning democracy. It is now clear that Ms Carey’s view of democracy demonstrates the view that some are more equal than others.

It seems we have a democracy in which a journalist leaks information and lies about it and then laughs inappropriately and dismissively on television when questioned about her fundraising activities for Fine Gael.

If Denis O’Brien and Michael Lowry have had their business reputations damaged by the report of the Moriarty tribunal, then surely Sarah Carey’s journalistic credibility is also damaged. – Yours, etc,

MARTHA HIGGINS,

Cappagh Road,

Galway.

Madam, – I’m writing to echo the views of Sean Hillen and Finbar O’Connor (March 24th) regarding the position of Sarah Carey as a columnist with your paper. It is my opinion, and an opinion I know is shared by many others, that Ms Carey’s position at your newspaper has become untenable. What remains of her credibility is now surely in tatters.

Frankly, I found it distasteful enough that during the election she used her position in The Irish Timesas a platform to encourage the electorate to cast their votes for Fine Gael. This kind of electioneering by columnists has sadly become common in the pages of our national press, and Ms Carey is not alone in engaging in such practices.

However, the findings of the Moriarty tribunal, and her somewhat blasé attitude towards the tribunal as a whole, makes it almost impossible for The Irish Timesto continue employing her to comment on Irish political life.

She is irredeemably tainted, and is surprisingly less than apologetic for her role in the ethically questionable shenanigans that both her former employer and the Fine Gael party engaged in.

“It couldn’t have been more transparent and I’m completely comfortable in standing by these normal corporate and political activities,” says Ms Carey of the financial connections between Fine Gael and Denis O’Brien. I think that any fair-minded reader would baulk at reading such a statement. These activities were accepted as a part of political life in Ireland for many, many years, but we have seen time and again how they are damaging to politics and ethically questionable. Yet Ms Carey will not even accept that this is the case.

I cannot see how The Irish Timescan continue to employ Ms Carey as a journalist. Doing so will only spread her taint on to the pages of your newspaper, and as the so-called paper of record this is unacceptable. And to assuage your guilt, Madam, I’m certain Ms Carey will find plenty of work with any one of Denis O’Brien’s myriad media institutions throughout Ireland and beyond. – Yours, etc,

JOE GALVIN,

Greenville Place,

Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8.

Madam, – In his introduction to the parameters of the inquiry Mr Justice Moriarty in Part 2, Vol 1, page X1. Paragraph “b” states, “all costs incurred by reason of the failure of individuals to co-operate fully and expeditiously with the Inquiry should, so far as is consistent with the interests of justice, be borne by those individuals.”

By her own admission on Prime Timeon Tuesday Sarah Carey is guilty of misleading the tribunal; Mr Justice Moriarty later roundly criticised Ms Carey’s actions as “irresponsible” and “not remotely justified”. One presumes Ms Carey will announce in her next media emanation just how much she will be repaying the State in lieu of her delinquency at the Moriarty tribunal. – Yours, etc,

DON Mac NAMARA,

Cois Cuain Lower,

Salthill,

Galway.